We here at Bright Side of the Sun wish to prepare our readers for every possibility regarding the 2013 NBA Draft. Nerlens Noel and Otto Porter Jr. are consensus top three picks and very unlikely to slide to the Suns at No. 5 and we decided breaking them down would be a waste of time with the draft rapidly approaching. We have, however, taken a look at Ben McLemore, Victor Oladipo, Alex Len and C.J. McCollum. Now it's time to take a look at another big man that the Suns could have interest in.
Anthony Bennett was one of the best freshman in the entire country this season at UNLV. In fact, he was one of the most productive players in the entire country and an offensive force. The numbers speak for themselves (courtesy of sports-reference.com):
What I see in those numbers is an efficient 16-point per game scorer who gets it done inside, at the free-throw line and from beyond the arc who tosses in some pretty decent rebounding numbers as well.
Anthony Bennett is a face-up scoring power forward. He can handle the ball and shoot better than a lot of guys at his position and knows how to put the ball in the bucket.I definitely see a little bit of Amar'e Stoudemire in him.
However, he is shorter than you'd like and while a long wingspan certainly helps it doesn't negate the problem. He also has some bad habits that were only exacerbated during his one year in college due to some pretty selfish teammates. Can those habits be broken? Or does he just have a low motor and no interest in playing defense? Those are questions NBA teams will have to try to find an answer for if they are considering taking Bennett in the lottery.
He's not my favorite prospect for the Suns, but he is definitely in play at No. 5. Bennett is similar in skill set to the Suns' own Markieff Morris, only he's actually good. If Ryan McDonough likes what Bennett can bring to the team, than nobody already on the roster should get in the way of that.
I personally wouldn't take Bennett as I don't think an undersized scoring forward who brings nothing defensively is what we want.
It's a lot harder to pin the potential targets for the Suns' second pick, but we've tried to do our best. Ricky Ledo, Tony Snell and Tony Mitchell have already been broken down by our staff. Now it's my turn to take a stab at two more players that could be on the Suns' radar.
Allen Crabbe just straight up gets buckets.
A year after California lost the Pac-12 player of the year in Jorge Gutierrez to graduation, Allen Crabbe stepped up his game and became the Pac-12 player of the year himself. He and teammate Justin Cobbs were responsible for creating the vast majority of California's offense this year, and Crabbe's ability to take on that role while still maintaining efficiency is impressive.
Crabbe is a scorer in the mold of a Kyle Korver or a Rip Hamilton, a sharp-shooter that uses screens and cuts to get off shots. His efficiency is already pretty good as it is, but with a smaller role and less defensive attention he should be even more deadly. The Suns desperately need scoring and perimeter shooting on the wing, and Crabbe would be a great fit if he were to fall all the way to the end of the first round.
Glen Rice Jr. is the most unique case in this year's class. Rice got kicked off the Georgia Tech basketball team following his junior season after multiple suspensions. Rather than transfer to another school or enter the 2012 NBA Draft, Rice decided to enter the NBA D-League draft in order to recoup his image and revive his draft stock.
*Averaged 29 PPG, 11.5 RPG, 4 APG, 3 SPG and 3 BPG in two game D-League Finals (won championship)
After a productive year free of any off the court issues Rice is ready to make the jump to the big leagues.
Rice is a NBA-ready scorer and would be a solid fit for the Suns at No. 30. He appears to have moved on from his college immaturity which is the stem of his red flags. If Rice is available, he'd be a great pick for the Suns for many of the same reasons that I outlined above with Crabbe.