Phoenix Suns: Draft Workouts Day 2 Recap

May 27, 2015; Phoenix, AZ, USA; 2015 NBA Draft prospect Kevin Pangos talks to the media at his Phoenix Suns draft workout. Mandatory Credit: Gerald Bourguet-Valley of the Suns
May 27, 2015; Phoenix, AZ, USA; 2015 NBA Draft prospect Kevin Pangos talks to the media at his Phoenix Suns draft workout. Mandatory Credit: Gerald Bourguet-Valley of the Suns /

The Phoenix Suns continued their draft workouts Wednesday, getting an extended look at Kentucky’s Aaron Harrison, Gonzaga’s Kevin Pangos, Northern Iowa’s Seth Tuttle, Louisiana Tech’s Kenneth Smith, Dayton’s Jordan Sibert and Daemen College’s Gerald Beverly.

For more Suns draft workouts coverage:

Day 1: Askia Booker, Branden Dawson, Kendall Gray, Tyler Harvey, Le’Bryan Nash and Chris Walker

The most notable prospect for day two was obviously Harrison, a combo guard whose draft stock at Kentucky plummeted after deciding to come back to school after his freshman season. Harrison didn’t stand out from an individual standpoint on that loaded Wildcats team that went 38-1 on the season, coming two wins shy of the NCAA championship.

Harrison is projected to be a second round pick or go undrafted, and the Suns could take a backup point guard with their No. 44 pick depending on who is still available. Given that Phoenix seems to have a thing for Kentucky guards, not to mention an affinity for twins/brothers, Harrison could be an option in the second round.

“There’s a reason those guys go to Kentucky, they’re pretty darn good players,” head coach Jeff Hornacek said. “He’s got a good feel for the game when you watch him in half-court situations, he’s got a good read of where guys are and he shot the ball well in the drills.”

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Harrison will need to improve his ball handling skills to be a point guard at the next level, and he’ll need his three-point shot to be a little more consistent than the streaky-hot shooter we saw at Kentucky last year. But Hornacek said Harrison and the other guards shot well in Wednesday’s drills.

“He obviously has the strength to just kind of lift it and mostly wrist shot it, and he kind of made it look easy and that it wasn’t a struggle to shoot from that distance,” Hornacek said.

At 6’6″, 209 pounds, Harrison has the build and the athleticism to play at the next level. His defense and his fearlessness to take big shots in big moments make him an asset, though the Suns will have tons of options with their 44th pick.

“If you have the skills, I think in today’s game there are more guys that are the combo guards because they’re not really true point guards, they’re all scoring guys, they all come up with the scoring mentality,” Hornacek said of combo guards. “So you try to find guys that try to do both those things, but especially in today’s game, the point guard may be a scorer but he’s still got to lead the team. He’s got to have that ability to direct guys and not be afraid.”

Harrison had to leave in a hurry to catch a flight and was unavailable to the media.

On a day where the group of draft workouts included four guards, speed and quickness were fully on display. The second most prominent name was Kevin Pangos, a 6’2″ point guard who spent four years at Gonzaga.

He’s a bit undersized and not quite athletic enough to have a sure path to the NBA, but his aggressive playing style and smooth three-point shot make him a possible asset if he can develop. For the Suns, his love for playing an up-tempo game makes him a theoretical fit as well.

“Obviously Pangos is known as a guy who can shoot the ball well, but I think Pangos also showed some of that leadership ability where he can get out there and direct traffic,” Hornacek said.

After watching former Zags teammate David Stockton, son of John Stockton, work his way into the league through the D-League, Pangos knows his path to the NBA might not be a straight shot.

“Everyone has their own path, that’s what makes this unique,” he said. “Stocks was in the D-League, but he played really well and when you play well, you control your own fate and he got an opportunity and played really well in the league too. I don’t know what my path’s going to be, but I’m just going to work hard and try to prove myself.”

Stockton’s three-point shooting, ball handling and quickness are his biggest assets, but he’s also focusing on other areas of his game to prove he belongs.

“Just that my game can translate, that I can adjust to the length and the speed of the game, that I can get my shot up in different ways, just all the different things that translate to the NBA game,” he said. “It’s a little bit different in college, so I just want to prove that.”

Joining Pangos in the category of speedy point guards was a Lousiana Tech senior actually bearing the nickname “Speedy,” Kenneth Smith. A 6’3″ point guard, Smith is also projected to be a second round pick or go undrafted. His lightning quickness gives him an advantage on both ends of the floor, using his agility to rack up steals on one end and find open players on the other.

“Speedy’s just a guy that, he played hard, he used his quickness on both ends of the court to push the ball up and down in a full-court game and defensively to pressure guys,” Hornacek said. “These guys are all here for a reason. It’s not like our guys pulled them out of thin air and said, ‘Eh, let’s try this guy out.’ These guys all have skills and they showed it today.”

“Speedy” could be another option for the Suns in the second round if they like what they saw, especially since he’s a pass-first point guard, a good rebounder for his position and an improving shooter. Smith was also unavailable for comment.

Phoenix Suns
May 27, 2015; Phoenix, AZ, USA; 2015 NBA Draft prospect Seth Tuttle talks to the media at his Phoenix Suns draft workout. Mandatory Credit: Gerald Bourguet-Valley of the Suns /

Dayton’s Jordan Sibert rounded out the list of guards, though he’s also listed as a guard-forward hybrid who can play on the wing.

Day 2 of workouts wasn’t just about guards, however, as Northern Iowa’s Seth Tuttle was trying to prove he can spread the floor as a stretch-four. A 6’8″ forward who led the Panthers as a senior, Tuttle is a versatile forward who can stretch the floor, but doesn’t have a particularly elite skill.

Projected as a second round pick or an undrafted player, Tuttle is trying to prove to NBA teams that he fits in with the prototypical stretch-four role.

“Most of them say they want to see if I can be a stretch-four, you know, pick and pop shoot, pick and pop make the right read, play defense, just understanding the feel for the game,” he said.

Rounding out the list of Day 2 prospects was Gerald Beverly, a 6’7″ forward from Daemen College, a Division II school.

Check back tomorrow for more Phoenix Suns NBA Draft coverage.

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