The Phoenix Suns have been at the Draft Combine for two days now. In that time, they have apparently met with 4 combo guards and no one else.
The Suns have already moved point guard Goran Dragic to most-of-the-time shooting guard, and Dragic responded with a season only league MVPs have produced in the past twenty seasons: 20+ ppg, 5+ apg, 50+% shooting, 40+% 3-pointers.
At point guard, the Suns have All-Star-to-be Eric Bledsoe, as long as he can stay healthy. In 43 games this season, Bledsoe filled the stat sheet and figures to annually produce 18 points, 6 assists, 5 rebounds and 2 steals per game while vying for the All-NBA defensive team.
With both starting, the Suns were 23-11 this season. So why stop there?
GM Ryan McDonough is a master at picking out undervalued, future star combo guards and point guards. He is responsible for Rajon Rondo and Avery Bradley in Boston. Last year, he drafted high-ceiling Archie Goodwin and traded for Bledsoe in Phoenix.
This year, he's spent every waking minute at the NBA Draft Combine apparently talking to no one but point guards and combo guards.
The two-day tally: Dante Exum, Marcus Smart, Tyler Ennis and Russ Smith.
Who needs Adreian Payne or Markieff Morris or Channing Frye when you can play the 6'6" Exum as a combo PF/C?
Why bring back P.J. Tucker when you can play the 6'4" Marcus Smart at the combo SF/PF spot?
Nay, the Suns are trying to build an army of point guards.
There you have it, Suns fans. Goodwin can swing to just about any position. Avery Bradley is a free agent waiting for a big offer, so McD could bring him to Phoenix to play combo minutes in the back court. PG Shaun Livingston (6'7") is a free agent who can fill the "big man" void and give Smart and Exum a breather.
Pray for that lotto ball to give the Suns a top-3 pick, and then hope McD can swing all the big guys on the Suns roster for another top-10 pick or two.
The 2014 NBA Draft Combine kicked off today with drills and measurements for the participants...Here's what happened.
The NBA 2014 Draft Combine officially got underway in Chicago, Illinois today, and the players from all position groups participated in measurements and drills.
The full list of measurements can be found here.
These are some of the players who really stood out for one reason or another:
Vonleh might have increased his draft stock even more (was already considered a top-10 pick) when he measured 6' 8" without shoes, with an incredible 7' 4.25" wingspan, a standing reach of 9 '0", and HUGE hands that measured 11.75" wide, and 9.75" long. His 11.75" hand width is the second highest ever recorded at the combine...Some impressive measurables all around.
Jerami Grant won the measurables for the wings with a long 7' 2.75" wingspan at only 6' 7.75" in shoes. He also posted a standing reach of 8' 11". James Young of Kentucky also turned some heads with an impressive 7' 0" wingspan at only 6' 7" in shoes.
Although Payne couldn't participate in the drills, his measurements may have helped his case in proving he has plenty of size and length to play as a true PF. Payne measured in at 6' 9" without shoes, with a very impressive 7' 4" wingspan...second under Vonleh for the power forward group and tied for third overall. He also posted a standing reach of 9' 1", and weighed in at 239lbs at only 7.6% body fat. Very solid numbers for Payne.
McDaniels is not only one of the most athletic wings in the draft, he's one of the longest as well. While measuring only 6' 4.5" without, and 6' 6" in shoes, he posted a long wingspan of 6' 11.25", and a standing reach of 8' 6". This, along with his elite athleticism could help him make up for his lack of height, especially if playing at the three.
On the plus side, Patric Young actually measured out slightly taller than expected, at 6' 10" in shoes. He also measured in with a 7' 1" wingspan, which is good for his height. His small hands are also a bit overstated, as he measured out at 9.25" in both length and width...not great, but not Kwame Brown worrisome either. On the negative side, Young's standing reach was a mere 8' 7.5"...which is extremely short for a guy with his height and wingspan.
McDermott, who was already considered a tweener, came in a little smaller than expected today...which may cause even more apprehension among some potential suitors. McDermott came in at only 6' 6.25" without shoes...and an estimated 6' 7.5" with them (though no official measurement with shoes was listed). His wingspan was also a fairly unimpressive 6 9.25". Combine this with his less than stellar athleticism, and you can see why it could be concerning. Still, the guy scored over 3,000 points in college, which is top-5 all-time...that has to count for something, right?
Bachynski measured in as the tallest player at the combine at 7' 1.25" without shoes. He also had the third longest wingspan (tied with Payne) at 7' 4". Bachynski could be a player that slips into the late first round with those numbers, depending on how his workouts go.
Unfortunately, when you try to watch the combine on TV they continuously cut in and out with various player analysis pieces and other commentary, so it's difficult to keep any sort of track of who was hitting their shots. Fortunately, the NBA keeps track for us which you can find here (spot-up shooting) and here (non-stationary shooting).
One of the more interesting notes from today came from who the Phoenix Suns met with. After a somewhat surprising meeting with Dante Exum yesterday, a potential top 5 pick, the Suns went all in once again with the point guards...meeting with Marcus Smart, Russ Smith, and Tyler Ennis, according to Alex Kennedy.
Now the Suns can only meet with 18 players total, and they may just be going through the positions one at a time...but it is interesting that they've only met with point guards so far...especially since all but one of them, Russ Smith, is mocked in the top 10.
Oh, and if you are suffering from a lack of Andrew Wiggins at the combine...here's your medicine! Apparently, Wiggins held his own training session today where he was photographed showing off his incredible vertical. No official measurements...but...just look for yourself.
More to come tomorrow with strength and agility testing.