#Top5Protected Report will take a look at draft possibilities for the Phoenix Suns both with their own first-round pick and the Los Angeles Lakers first-round pick, which the Suns will own it falls outside of the top five. I'll be bringing you frequent posts on all of the players graded around this range of the draft and their fits in Phoenix.

Stanley Johnson

SF/SG, 6'7", 245 lbs, Freshman (19 in May)

28.3 MPG, 13.9 PPG, 6.6 RPG, 1.7 APG, 1.6 SPG, 48.3 FG%, 42.9 3P%, 68.4 FT%

It doesn't take you that long to figure out why they call Stanley Johnson "Stanimal." At 6'7" and 245 lbs, Johnson was the heaviest player at the USA U18 camp this summer. A small forward of that size at 18 years old just screams freak and that's exactly what Johnson is. He's an incredible defender, a locomotive in transition, a man amongst boys on the glass, and is quickly adding other facets to his game. Concerns about his jumpshot and consistency on offense have him ranging from 5 to 15 on draft boards. I think he's one of the best five prospects in the draft and the Suns would be lucky to see him slip.

Strength/Athleticism

Johnson has the best strength and athleticism out of any lottery prospect this season. Naturally this leads him to being an absolute behemoth in transition.

A tweet from Michael Levin over at Liberty Ballers sums up his game in transition the best.

I've never seen an oxen-gazelle hybrid in transition, but Stanley Johnson just did some stuff.

— Michael Levin (@Michael_Levin) November 27, 2014

It's scary how true that comparison is. Johnson has this magnitude and power to him whenever he moves around the floor and it's absolutely terrifying how that doesn't go away when he moves at full speed. Johnson can flat out fly and at least for this element of his game the comparisons are there with a certain royalty figure in the NBA. We got a sample of it in Maui.

We will get to his defense later, but that's really where Johnson's athleticism thrives. His fundamentals are so freaking good that giving a kid his strength and first step is just cruel.

Shooting

Johnson's shooting from beyond the arc has had scouts very concerned. Some don't buy that Johnson can be an average shooter and that's why some have him in the middle of the first round. Johnson responded with a 43% start to the season on 3's with 2.6 attempts a game.

The main negative on Johnson's jumper is the overall form. At his worst, Johnson keeps the ball relatively low and extends it a little bit away from his body. Think Marion's release, but more pure if that makes sense. When he stays consistent with his form though, it's a good release that looks just fine. We see that release more than the other ugly one this year and that's why he's shooting 43%.

The most important point here is that Johnson didn't really have this in his game two years ago and all of a sudden he's turned into this type of shooter. He got off to a rough start shooting it this season, but he stuck with it and had faith in his jumper. It paid off and his main negative coming into the season could have him leaving for the draft with it as a positive.

Offense

Johnson uses his speed as a slasher more than anything on offense. He has now proved that he can hit that open three, but he's still a slasher over anything. He's a tank so you won't see him trying to create space for a jumper that often. He's going to outman you to the rim and can do several different things once he gets by his initial defender.

Johnson sometimes will dunk on your entire family, but he added a floater to his game this season that makes defenders look really stupid. He can hit you with that Wiggins spin move or just stop on a dime, elevate, and calculate the shot as he's gliding through the air and float it home. If anyone actually wants to try to take contact, Johnson will win and most likely get the and-1. I seriously have not seen anybody try to go straight up on him this season because it's a life hazard.

The last part of his slashing game that you will be elated to hear about is his passing. Johnson sees the floor very well and understands how defenses will move when he takes the ball inside. That ability to stop on a dime for his floater extends to his passing, as it gives him that head start on the defense to find the open man. He's a very smart player when he's not forcing it (see below) and moves around the floor naturally.

The element of that playmaking that is Johnson's main fault is that he sometimes tries to do too much. Considering how easy it is for get past his initial man, he forces it when defenses are more aware of what he's going to do and he gets caught in no man's land when he is relying only on what he thinks the defense will do. His strength makes him force shots in the paint as well, as he just assumes he is either going to get fouled or score instead of hitting his open teammate. He will get better with this over time and you know that by the steps he's already made at Arizona this season in this department.

Johnson doesn't have a lot of "bully ball" moves in his arsenal and I think that's the next part of his game to come. He uses that quick first step to occasionally establish post position, but you'd like to see him have more pure post up catches and moves. He's got a strength mismatch 99% of the time at his position, especially if he is playing shooting guard, so he needs to find more ways to take advantage of that.

Motor/Intangibles

The best part about Stanley Johnson is his intangibles. He works his ass off on the floor and does so many little things for being the best player on the floor that it makes me sick. He's an excellent rebounder for his size because of that will and gets a ton of his steals because of the extra work he puts in to have the best positioning on defense. He won 4 straight state titles in California and relishes being in the moment and winning.

My favorite Stanley Johnson story was this past summer at LeBron James' basketball camp. LeBron, as he will from time to time, decided to get in on the game against some of the best young talent in the country. Johnson saw him there all week and would say later that "anytime people think there's a player in the gym who's better than me, that's who I wanna play against." Johnson would go up to LeBron and say "you're next." A one-on-one game would commence with Johnson holding his down. To have that much confidence and wanting the big moment more than anyone else is special.

Defense

Johnson is a remarkable defender. Like I said, he really puts in the effort to be in the right spots and with his physical gifts that makes him a monster. Instead of going with some more depth, DraftExpres had an excellent breakdown of his game against Michigan you can view instead. Johnson just decided that Michigan's 2 NBA wing prospects were not going to score and starting at 3:08 in this link you will see the job he did. He's ridiculous.

Fit In Phoenix

You could make a real argument for Stanley Johnson on the Suns. P.J. Tucker is 29 and Johnson is a much more well rounded player and prospect than T.J. Warren. If the Suns are locked in on a few prospects and they are gone by the time the Lakers pick pops up, they should take Johnson if he's there because there's a 95% chance he's the best player on the board. There are better overall fits available though with the Suns current roster, so I don't see him as a primary focus.

I think Johnson is going to be a great NBA player and I see a lot of Jimmy Butler in him. At the very least he will be a lethal transition player, lockdown defender, and great rebounder for his position, reminding you of Arizona's two pro prospects last season. We will have to wait till the end of the season to fully remove shooting as a flaw and he still does too much offensively, but the other stuff in his skill set is absolutely there to warrant a high selection in the first round.

Phoenix Suns Archie Goodwin was assigned to the Bakersfield Jam today just before the annual D-League Showcase, where he will get a chance to perform against the best the D-League has to offer in front of dozens of scouts, GMs and basketball personalities.

Archie Goodwin was assigned to the Bakersfield Jam today, his second assignment of the year by the Phoenix Suns. Goodwin has played 5 career games for the Jam. Over those game, 3 last year and 2 so far this year, Goodwin has averaged 22 points and almost 5 rebounds per game.

For this assignment, however, Archie won't be competing in regular season D-League action. Instead, he will be featured in the D-League Showcase, a mid-season tournament for the D-League's best teams that runs from January 15th through the 19th. This season, the tournament is being hosted in Santa Cruz, home of the Santa Cruz Warriors.

Archie's opportunity comes as a result of the strong play of the Jam who, as one of the top 8 teams in the league qualified for a featured spot in the tournament. They start the tournament off today at 10 am against the Texas Legends.

The Jam have to be hoping that Archie will provide a spark to the team after the recent departure of Elijah Millap, the team's leading scorer who was signed to a 10 day contract by the Utah Jazz earlier this month. This, combined with the departure of mid-season addition Chris Wright, who had played phenomenally for the team but left to pursue a contract overseas, has left the team struggling a bit on offense. The record doesn't reflect the struggles, as the team is 3-1 since then, but the struggles have nonetheless been present.

Archie joins a growing list of NBA players and former NBA players who have been assigned to or picked up by D-League teams in preparation for the showcase. For instance, former NBA player Tyrus Thomas was picked up by the Iowa Energy prior to the showcase. He is reportedly trying to play his way back in to the league.

Players in situations more similar to Archie are Isaiah Canaan, Nick Johnson, Ognjen Kuzmic and Ricky Ledo, all of whom have been assigned to teams that will be competing in the showcase. In fact, Archie will be squaring off directly with Ledo, who will likely start at SG for the Texas Legends.

The D-League Showcase promises to be a strong opportunity for the Jam to prove that they are a legitimate contender in the D-League, and for Archie to show that he is a dominant force among D-League level talent, which may lead to his value as an NBA player increasing in the eyes of the rest of the League.

Phoenix Suns Archie Goodwin was assigned to the Bakersfield Jam today just before the annual D-League Showcase, where he will get a chance to perform against the best the D-League has to offer in front of dozens of scouts, GMs and basketball personalities.

Archie Goodwin was assigned to the Bakersfield Jam today, his second assignment of the year by the Phoenix Suns. Goodwin has played 5 career games for the Jam. Over those game, 3 last year and 2 so far this year, Goodwin has averaged 22 points and almost 5 rebounds per game.

For this assignment, however, Archie won't be competing in regular season D-League action. Instead, he will be featured in the D-League Showcase, a mid-season tournament for the D-League's best teams that runs from January 15th through the 19th. This season, the tournament is being hosted in Santa Cruz, home of the Santa Cruz Warriors.

Archie's opportunity comes as a result of the strong play of the Jam who, as one of the top 8 teams in the league qualified for a featured spot in the tournament. They start the tournament off today at 10 am against the Texas Legends.

The Jam have to be hoping that Archie will provide a spark to the team after the recent departure of Elijah Millap, the team's leading scorer who was signed to a 10 day contract by the Utah Jazz earlier this month. This, combined with the departure of mid-season addition Chris Wright, who had played phenomenally for the team but left to pursue a contract overseas, has left the team struggling a bit on offense. The record doesn't reflect the struggles, as the team is 3-1 since then, but the struggles have nonetheless been present.

Archie joins a growing list of NBA players and former NBA players who have been assigned to or picked up by D-League teams in preparation for the showcase. For instance, former NBA player Tyrus Thomas was picked up by the Iowa Energy prior to the showcase. He is reportedly trying to play his way back in to the league.

Players in situations more similar to Archie are Isaiah Canaan, Nick Johnson, Ognjen Kuzmic and Ricky Ledo, all of whom have been assigned to teams that will be competing in the showcase. In fact, Archie will be squaring off directly with Ledo, who will likely start at SG for the Texas Legends.

The D-League Showcase promises to be a strong opportunity for the Jam to prove that they are a legitimate contender in the D-League, and for Archie to show that he is a dominant force among D-League level talent, which may lead to his value as an NBA player increasing in the eyes of the rest of the League.

Morris realizes it's his responsibility to be available for post-game interviews.

For those who haven't kept up, after scoring a career high 35 points in a Phoenix Suns win over LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers, forward Markieff Morris refused to do a post-game interview with the group of media assembled in the locker room.

"It was me being childish," he said to radio host John Gambadoro yesterday on ArizonaSports 98.7 'Gambo and Burns' of the incident. "I've got to be smarter than that. I need to show you guys (the media) more respect. Honestly, I just wanted to take the day off from media and go home and enjoy my family."

--Keef

That Morris didn't do a locker room interview is nothing new. The Morris brothers have rarely done post game interviews this season, often staying in the shower area until all the reporters have left to write their articles before deadlines.The same is generally true of Gerald Green and several other regulars. When you've got a nine-man rotation and nearly half of them avoid the media after games, that just puts more of a burden on the ones who don't.

The only difference was that this time there were a dozen media waiting for him, standing by his locker while he dressed, and he just simply said "no media" and walked off. Even when Julie Fie, the Suns Media Relations Manager, tried to coax him back, he refused.

Usually, that post game interview task is left up to point guards Goran Dragic and Eric Bledsoe, and forward P.J. Tucker and Tuesday was no exception. Other players were there too, but among the impactful rotation players those three are the ones who regularly take the responsibility to provide post-game interviews.

NBA rules state that players will be available to the media at least once each game day - either after shoot around that morning or after the game that night. The NBA wants to make money, and they know that ticket sales and merchandise sales, and future TV contracts, are directly correlated to the fans' access to players and coaches. The more access the fans have, the more relevant the team is. And the more relevant, the more likely some of those fans will spend money on the team. It's a win-win for the league and the team.

Media in the post-game locker room is largely made up of professional reporters on deadline, paid to collect player quotes to support the narrative of the game for their recap, radio or TV shows which must be submitted within the hour. There's reporters from the Associated Press (for national recaps on sites like NBA.com and hundreds of other sites that want game recaps for print or online use), Fox Sports Arizona (which is doing a live post-game), the local Arizona Republic and several radio stations, plus bloggers from a handful of websites.

Several reporters are tasked with getting quotes from at least two players plus the coach in order to get paid for their game coverage.

Generally, the players in demand are the ones who had the best (or worst) game that night because the reporters want their relevant take on how the game went. The more relevant the interview, the better. So while Shavlik Randolph is generally around along with the rookies, for example, they rarely are the "go to" interviews that night.

Morris understands what he did wrong.

"It's not about me," he said to Gambo and Burns. "It's about the Suns, the Suns organization and the fans. I definitely should have showed (the media) more respect, and I just take that back."

--Keef

But I do sympathize with Keef and the other players.

No player, no human being for that matter, wants to be interviewed every day. It's not fun for anyone, them or us, but it's a business so the players do it. Some only do it when they have to, while others do it freely because they recognize they owe something back to the fans that are helping them make millions of dollars a year to play a game.

And really, no one in the media wants to conduct 14 separate post-game interviews after every game. Two or three, or four at the outside, is the limit for most of the media folks. Otherwise, everyone's there for an hour and the value beyoung the first two or three is marginal at best.

So the Suns do a great job of making sure at least two or three of that night's best players make themselves available to talk. I can't even recollect a night where there weren't two of that night's rotation players available for interviews within the tight deadline window. Great kudos to the Suns on that.

It's just that when a player goes for a career high, the media would like to hear his take on how that happened. It helps the narrative and increases the reach of the Suns to their fans.

"It definitely wasn't about me; it was about the team's success, the organization. We definitely put together a big win last night, the fans were great, everybody was great," Morris said to Gambo and Burns. "I've just got to take more responsibility, be a professional about the situation, and again, I'm sorry."

--Keef

General Manager Ryan McDonough game some insight into why Markieff might have been frustrated with the media, leading to his refusal to do interviews.

"It's frustrating," McDonough said to ArizonaSports 98.7 yesterday. "The only thing I can think of, guys, is our team has played well lately -- we're 11-4 over our last 15 games -- the four losses are against good Western Conference teams on the road when we're right down there to the final buzzer.

And a lot of the media coverage has been about Marcus Morris getting into it with a coach or technical fouls, the Suns getting too many technicals, and now we do need to address those issues, there's no question about it.

He was certainly wrong with the way he behaved, and we're not making excuses for him, but I think that's what he was feeling at the time and acted out of emotion and just had a bad moment that, like I said, was certainly out of character because he's a really good guy and I'm positive that won't happen again."

--McDonough on Keef

It's true that a lot of coverage lately has focused more on the bad than the good. But news is news, and when bad news comes out the media will cover it and opine on it.

Midway through the 2014-15 NBA season, the Phoenix Suns are off to a 23-18 start and sit at eighth in the Western Conference standings. Despite having a superior roster on paper, a slow start to the...

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