NBA Draft: Alex Len possible Suns target with fifth pick

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In my opinion, the best option for the Suns with the fifth pick is Victor Oladipo. But according to ESPN's Draft Dude, Chad Ford, "Oladipo is the guy that GMs love in this draft" so he very well could be gone before the Suns new GM gets to make his first-ever draft pick without training wheels.

Of course, I seem to recall hearing the same thing about Damian Lillard who's stock rose quickly after being projected 13th this time last year before but wasn't selected until Portland's turn with the sixth pick. Oladipo is already slotted fourth to the Bobcats/Hornets in four out of seven mock drafts.

If Oladipo (and Otto Porter) are gone before Ryan McDonough gets his turn at bat, Alex Len could be a very intriguing option. We already know the Suns have a need to a new big man and we know there are a LOT of very big men in this draft. Nerlens Noel will almost certainly be gone before the Suns turn (and truly hope that's true) so that leaves us to ponder Len who was also pondered by Paul Coro at the AZ Republic:

Phoenix Suns’ draft options at No. 5 include Maryland big man Alex Len
The NBA draft lottery slotted the Suns fifth in the selection order, assuring they will not get a chance to pick Nerlens Noel without a trade. But they could take the center who dominated Noel to start the past college season.

What else do we know about Len? A lot.

The best prospects of the 2013 NBA Draft - Rufus on Fire
Alex Len is this seasons feast-or-famine pick. The seven-footer has all the potential tools: he's a great athlete for his size, has impressive foot speed, a great touch around the rim -- with both hands -- and a high basketball IQ. On the defensive end, he's already a good pick and roll defender with potential as an elite rim-protector.

Well now, that's impressive!

But, did you know that Alex isn't even his REAL NAME? It's Olexiy! Also...

NBA Draft 2013 scouting report: Alex Len - Bullets Forever
Whether Len lived up to the hype as a sophomore probably depends on which games you saw him play. He opened the season with a dominant showing against Nerlens Noel, the top recruit in the nation, scoring 23 points and grabbing 12 rebounds in a loss to Kentucky.

Unfortunately for Len, his first game of the season might have also have been his best, as the inconsistency from his freshman year carried over to 2012. [emphasis added so you would see it]

Maybe, if he used his real name he would get more steals?

2013 Draft Preview: Centers - Canis Hoopus
For every 1 steal that Len collects, Noel collects 8, Dieng collects 5, Adams, Plumlee, and Zeller each collect 4, Withey and Olynyk each collect 3, and Muscala collects more than 2. While ball-stealing itself is not a key part of the center position, this huge disparity between Len and men who succeed in professional basketball should be concerning.

I really wonder how much of the glow about Len's "athletic potential" is failing to look past his impressive frame to the more basic dexterity, coordination, and awareness that separates successful project bigs from your annual second-round 7' stiff. [emphasis added so you would see it]

Then again, somebody thinks Len is BETTER THAN Noel despite using an alias.

NBA Draft 2013: Why Alex Len is a better prospect than Nerlens Noel - SBNation.com
Noel is an intriguing prospect, but in my opinion, he's not even the best center, much less the best player, available in this year's draft. Maryland sophomore Alex Len is bigger and more skilled than Noel.

Let's check the some tape:


What do you think of "Alex" Len?

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