Phoenix Suns: Draft Workouts Day 9 Recap

Jun. 5, 2015; Phoenix, AZ, USA; 2015 NBA Draft prospect Montrezl Harrell talks to the media at his Phoenix Suns draft workout. Mandatory Credit: Gerald Bourguet-Valley of the Suns
Jun. 5, 2015; Phoenix, AZ, USA; 2015 NBA Draft prospect Montrezl Harrell talks to the media at his Phoenix Suns draft workout. Mandatory Credit: Gerald Bourguet-Valley of the Suns /
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Jun. 5, 2015; Phoenix, AZ, USA; 2015 NBA Draft prospect Rondae Hollis-Jefferson talks to the media at his Phoenix Suns draft workout. Mandatory Credit: Gerald Bourguet-Valley of the Suns /

Rondae Hollis-Jefferson

The Suns would probably be reaching if they took Rondae Hollis-Jefferson in the first round at No. 13, given that he’s a small forward who isn’t a great three-point shooter — and that he’s projected to go in the latter half of the first round.

But there’s also certainly an appeal in giving this tremendous defender a look since he’s a local product with an infectious personality, with general manager Ryan McDonough referred to him as “one of the more loquacious guys we’ve had in the past couple of years.”

A 6’7″ prospect from the University of Arizona, Hollis-Jefferson is a long and athletic wing who can defend three positions. He averaged 11.2 points and 6.8 rebounds per game while shooting 50.2 percent from the floor in the Wildcats’ run to the Elite Eight this season, but defense and energy is how he’ll carve out his niche at the next level.

“That’ll definitely get me on the court and keep me on the court,” he said.

“I think he embraces that role as a stopper and he’s not afraid to take on a defensive challenge,” McDonough said. “He feels like he can guard multiple positions, he did that at Arizona and I think he’s certainly capable of doing that in the NBA.”

Nobody on the Suns’ roster is irreplaceable, but on a team that already has P.J. Tucker, T.J. Warren and Marcus Morris at the 3, Hollis-Jefferson might not be a great fit for a Suns team that likes to run-and-gun since the biggest flaw in his game is his perimeter shooting.

Hollis-Jefferson shot an abysmal 20.7 percent from three-point range (on 0.8 attempts per game) in his sophomore season with the Wildcats and his jump shot needs a lot of work. Even Hollis-Jefferson, when asked to give a scouting report on himself, noted that he struggles to knock down shots from beyond the arc.

“I think his shooting’s improved, but there’s still some work to do,” McDonough said. “To be able to play a lot of minutes in the NBA today, you need to be able to make open shots.”

Next: R.J. Hunter