Scott Howard, Sreekar & Gibberman blabber on about non-sense along with some actual Suns discussion. Is LeBron and Melo to Phoenix a real possibility? We look at the three Suns first round draft picks & completely ignore Alec Brown. BOGDAN BOGDANOVIC

The podcast sensation that's sweeping the nation is back for another edition.  Call it morbid curiosity or masochism (or a combination) but some of you actually listened to the first podcast our merry band of jerks recorded so here we go again.

On this edition of Bright Side: After Dark - we recap Scott's jolly rancher offer, cover the LeBron James pipedream, "analyze" the Suns draft picks, make some projections about the futures of the recent NBA draftees, and rant about Robert Sarver's "cheap" label.  

Also Sreekar probably set the record for most times saying Bogdan Bogdanovic while Scott managed to again shoe horn Taylor Griffin into the conversation. But I probably didn't have to type that out for you to know it was coming.  

We still haven't quite solved the stepping all over each other issue but we're working on it for you.  

If you know any of us, you know what you're getting yourself into.  Your listening journey begins here:

If you know any of us, you know what you're getting yourself into.  Your listening journey begins here:

It’s theoretically possible — the Phoenix Suns have some of the best flexibility in the NBA this offseason, and in free agency LeBron James is a prize they can land. Nothing to this...

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According to Adrian Wojnarwoski, the Phoenix Suns are going for the whole enchilada

We here at Bright Side have been touting LeBron James to the Phoenix Suns for a while now, and we believe that the Suns offer the best combination of present and future for LeBron.

Link: WojBOMB

Armed with an offer that no else in the NBA can make - a chance to partner with Carmelo Anthony on an instant championship contender - the Phoenix Suns are planning an aggressive pursuit of LeBron James on Tuesday, league sources told Yahoo Sports.

Suns officials understand the bid will be something of a long shot, but are determined to get a meeting with James to convince him how the possibilities of two full max contracts, a roster stocked with talented, young players and the chance to pick the superstar free-agent partner of his choice ought to make Phoenix one of his most appealing suitors.

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The Suns' flexibility allows for James to pick any free agent - this summer or next - for himself. It could be Anthony or Chris Bosh this summer, Kevin Love next summer.

If its pairing LeBron with Kevin Love (via trade this year, or free agency next summer), Carmelo Anthony (free agency) or Chris Bosh (free agency), the Suns have the assets and cap room to not only make it work but give LeBron his best combination of young talent in his entire career.

The Suns would instantly become a title contender with LeBron and any second star and have so many assets they could surround him with young talent for the rest of his career.

The Suns currently have four players 20 years old and younger (Warren, Ennis, Goodwin and Len) and half dozen mid-20s players. No one on the roster would be older than 29 next year (Gerald Green).

Make it happen, McBabbaRobacek!

Bogdan Bogdanovi?, the 27th draft pick, is a good long-range shooter and a capable defender.
If his improvement stays constant he won't be stashed overseas for long (unless McStunna has other ideas for him), although there are many aspects of his game that need work.

Position: Shooting guard

Age: 21

Last season Euroleague stats (those matter, the ABA league really isn't close to NBA level)

Games played: 23 (723 minutes)

Points average: 14.8 (340 total)

Field goals: 42.6% 2FG, 37% 3FG, 75.4% FT

Rebounds: 3.7 (3 Deff, 0.7 Off)

Assist/turnovers/steals: 3.7/3.4/1.6

Measurables

  • Height: 6´6?
  • Weight: 205 pounds
  • Wingspan: 6´11?
  • Standing reach: 8´8?
The dull stats out of the way, let's delve a bit deeper into the "poor man's Ginobili" the Phoenix Suns drafted with their 27th pick.

Offense

At 6´6? he is perfectly sized for a shooting guard, and coupling this with his solid frame (that needs a few pounds of muscle though) it means he can get his shot off against pretty much every guard or wing defending him. He's not the most athletic guard on the floor and not the speediest (we've got Goran for that), but he should be able to hold his own once he gets used to the NBA tempo.

Like most of European guards, Bogdan has good fundamentals and footwork, enabling him to get his shot off quickly and accurately from pretty much anywhere with his feet planted. He's got a swift stroke and a high release point as well, adding to the difficulty of defending him. Pointing out his percentages, which are not that good, they need to be considered against the role he had in Partizan this year. For most of the season he was the primary (some say only) offensive threat and opposing defenses were for the most part focused on him and making his shots difficult.

His numbers dropped later in the season, when the starting PG for Partizan (Leo Westermann) went down with an injury and Bogdan was required to step into the PG role. While this is not his strong point, it was obvious he actually handled it pretty good because of his good court vision, ball handling and passing. This is definitely a plus considering the current Suns team incarnation thrives on guards with drive-and-kick capabilities. That being said, he is still young and often makes mistakes and bad passes under pressure, hence the quite high turnover count.

His first step really isn't that quick, his speed not meep-meep and most of his drives come off screens, but when he gets to the rim, he can finish with both hands, although he does seem to shy away from contact, something that will not do in the NBA. Watching some highlight videos, his playing style brings to mind one of the best European players of all time never to play in the NBA, Dejan Bodiroga. Problem is, Bodiroga was a virtual jump-shot and free throw machine, something Bogdan really needs to work on (his efficiency inside the arc is troubling for a guard) and he could finish through contact like a man possessed.

Bogdan's best weapon by far is the catch-and-shoot and coming off screens where his range comes in handy and he'll let it fly from pretty much anywhere on the floor. Even if it's a bad shot. Even if it's a bad, contested shot and the shot-clock is nowhere near the bottom. Another thing, if he's not tuned in, he can force plays that aren't there and be on the whole very careless with the ball and passing it to non-existent teammates or directly into opponents hands on cross-court diagonal lobs. Let's hope time and experience cut that down to a minimum.

Defense

Here again, his size is a good thing, his wingspan even more as he's able to defend multiple positions. He's also quite quick going laterally and coupling that with his good footwork and understanding of the game, he is good at staying in front of his man, fighting through screens (although NBA bigs will be a problem if he doesn't bulk up) altering shots and also at not getting pump-faked out of his socks (cue one of my all time favorite pump fakes. Disclaimer: it's Gogi in a rockets uniform).

His defensive capabilities are somewhat hindered though by the mental aspects of his game, the above mentioned spacing out at times. And there doesn't seem to be a lot of drive to compete defensively, probably because up to now he was used primarily as a scoring threat, which in a young guard from the Balkans usually translates to: I don't need to play defense, really. But the fundamentals are there, if he's willing to put in the effort.

Summing it up

Bogdan Bogdanovi? is on track to becoming a contributor in the NBA, if he stays the course of his improvement, works on his mid-range and free throw shooting as well as bulking up and being prepared to go to the rim harder, as he has the size to do it. And he will need to put in heavy minutes into decision-making and reading the game as well as being more engaged on the defensive end.

Fit for the Suns

The current Suns roster would benefit from a confident long range shooter that would space the floor and put up solid numbers across the board, the only problem is that same roster is quite busy at the guard-end and it will take improvement in all aspects of his game for him to actually crack the rotation. But the potential is definitely there and I'm excited to see what he'll make of it.

Agree or not? Discuss.

Poll
Will Bogdan Bogdanovic make it in Phoenix?

  456 votes | Results

T.J. Warren didn't receive much hype here before the draft. Adreian Payne, Nik Stauskas and Gary Harris were generally preferred choices, but Warren's list of achievements and potential as a 20-year old is impressive. The Suns landed themselves an elite scorer at #14 with "Scorin'" Warren.

Going into Thursday night's NBA Draft, Suns fans held high hopes for a franchise-changing trade, or draft pick, or both. Instead, the Suns hung onto their  #14, #18 and #27 picks, and selected three players with impressive resumés.

Can any of those selections prove to be franchise-changers? Maybe not, but the Suns used their first selection on a big-time scorer from an elite NCAA conference in ACC Player of the Year T.J .Warren, a player who brings a skill set last season's team was missing.

The 2013-14 Suns were built around the 3-point shot. Their #8 finish in 3-point % and #2 finish in opponents' 3-point % were central to the team's 23 win improvement from the 2012-13 squad. Still, too often, the Suns' potent offense settled into an over-reliance on the 3 with a lack of other offensive options, and they lost leads in the process.

Markieff Morris displayed a solid, much-improved mid-range and post game, Goran Dragic and Eric Bledsoe could finish at the basket well, but the Suns were in dire need of another threat closer to the paint. There's nothing wrong with shooting a lot of 3s in the modern NBA, but other options are essential for success.

Anthony "T.J." Warren specializes in getting looks from 15 feet and closer, then nailing them. In scoring 24.9 PPG last season at NC State, Warren made 58% of his 2-point attempts, and went to the FT line 6.5 times per game. He does this with a bag of tricks that includes nifty footwork and a killer floater. It won't be as easy to do what he does on the next level, but a lot of those slick moves will transfer just fine.

A diversification and expansion of the Suns' offensive arsenal will involve crafty players who can play close to the basket; Warren is that. The knocks on him are that he's a "tweener", and that he lacks the perimeter game to be an effective NBA small forward. I'm not buying either as a fatal flaw for this talented, hard worker.

Warren grew his game from the 5th leading scorer on his team as a freshman at 12.1 PPG into becoming the leader of last year's Wolfpack, by a country mile, at 24.9 PPG. Warren carried a weak team (his 31.3 PER was next followed by Jordan Vandenberg's 15.3) to the NCAA Tournament by scoring in every way imaginable.

While his usage rate rose from 19.5 to 35.5, his TS% dipped only slightly, from .638 to .574, despite Warren being the focus of every opponent's defense. This wasn't a quality NC State team outside of Warren. He was just about all they had going, and he produced enough to take them to the postseason, while Warren topped #2 pick Jabari Parker for ACC Player of the Year honors.

In Thursday night's press conference, both GM Ryan McDonough and head coach Jeff Hornacek expressed their intention that Warren is a pure SF, who could possibly play PF in small ball lineups, but no "tweener." The 6'8" (with shoes), 220 lb-er with a 6'10" wingspan would compete with P.J. Tucker and Marcus Morris for playing time, assuming both those players return.

Warren's scoring abilities were deemed "elite" by McDonough, who said, "He has a unique ability to put the ball in the basket. He's got good size and strength, but more importantly, he has terrific instincts and a fantastic touch around the basket. We feel like he has a lot of the things you can't teach. He still needs to keep working on his outside shooting, but we think he has a chance to be a pretty special offensive player."

Hornacek addressed Warren's supposed defensive shortcomings by saying, "A lot of these guys are big scorers in college, I think the coaches are telling them 'don't get in foul trouble,' and they may look terrible defensively on tape, but then when you get them live and see....In one of our drills, it was a mix. One time he guarded a point guard, next time it was a forward, next time it was a center who tried to back him down. He stopped all three of them pretty easily."

A player who possesses great instincts, touch and a reputation for strong work ethic, as he lost weight and improved his conditioning between his freshman and sophomore seasons at NC State, Warren needs to continue to expand his range. Fortunately, he'll be coached by Hornacek, who maximizes his players' shooting abilities.

Warren may never be a 3-point sniper, but won't have to be when on the court with a playmaker and other floor-spacers. No, the Suns will need him to be what he is: A versatile, crafty scorer from all over the floor.

Welcome to Phoenix, T.J. Warren. You're exactly what the Suns need.

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