At 7’0 and 280 pounds, Jusuf Nurkic certainly possesses the body to be a difference-maker in the NBA, but questions about his fundamentals and consistency have kept his draft stock from rising...

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14, 18 and 27 (and 50) are the Phoenix Suns' magic numbers on draft night. Whose names do the experts think will be emblazoned in purple and orange on Thursday night? On the eve of the 2014 NBA Draft, we've collected the experts picks for the Phoenix Suns in one handy place so you can keep score Thursday night.

Nobody knows anything.

- William Goldman, Adventures in the Screen Trade

Mr. Goldman's bold proclamation about the film industry is just as true for the NBA draft industry.  Andrew Wiggins was a surefire number one pick until he wasn't.  Then Joel Embiid was a stone cold lead pipe lock at number one... until he wasn't.  Now it's Wiggins again.  Except the Cleveland Cavaliers have that pick and as they proved last year with Anthony Bennett... nobody knows anything.

What I do know is that in almost all the mock drafts, the top 8 prospects are still the top 8 prospects, but in slightly different orders.  That said, there have been a few shake-ups as far as mid-first round projections go since the last time we checked in with the experts.  Sprinkled in with the usual suspects for the Phoenix Suns are such exotic names as Doug McDermott (some one get Jacob some smelling salts!), Dario Saric, Jusuf Nurkic, and Elfrid Payton!

14 different players are wildly speculated judiciously considered for the Suns' 3 first round picks.  I give my baseless opinion thoroughly researched notes underneath the round-up.

Chad Ford - ESPN.com

14th pick: James Young - G/F, 6-7, 213lbs, Kentucky, Freshman, 18 years old

2013-14 stats: 14.3 ppg, 3.3 rpg, 40.7 3FG%

Draft Combine Measurements: 7'0" wingspan, 5.1% body fat, 35.5-inch max vertical

18th pick: Zach LaVine - PG, 6-6, 181lbs, UCLA, Freshman, 19 years old

2013-14 stats: 9.4ppg, 2.5 rpg, 1.8 apg, 44.1 FG%

Draft Combine Measurements: 6'8.25" wingspan, 4.7% body fat, 41.5-inch max vertical

27th pick: Clint Capela - PF, 6-11, 222lbs, Switzerland, 20 years old

2013-14 stats: 9.4 ppg, 6.9 rpg, 1.5 bpg, 63.2 FG%

50th pick: James McAdoo - PF, 6-9, 228lbs, North Carolina, Junior, 21 years old

2013-14 stats: 14.2 ppg, 6.8 rpg, 45.8 FG%

Draft Combine Measurements: 7'2.25" wingspan, 6.2% body fat, 34-inch max vertical

Marc J. Spears - Yahoo.com

14th pick: Doug McDermott - SF, 6-8, 218, Creighton, Senior, 22 years old

2013-14 stats: 26.7 ppg, 7.0 rpg, 52.6 FG%, 44.9 3PT%

Draft Combine Measurements: 6'9.25" wingspan, 7.1% body fat, 36.5-inch max vertical

18th pick: Rodney Hood - G, 6-8, 208lbs, Duke, Sophomore, 21 years old

2013-14 stats: 16.1 ppg, 3.9 rpg, 42.0 3FG%

Draft Combine Measurements: 6'8.5" wingspan, 7.5% body fat, 36.0-inch max vertical

27th pick: Clint Capela - PF, 6-11, 222lbs, Switzerland, 20 years old

2013-14 stats: 9.4 ppg, 6.9 rpg, 1.5 bpg, 63.2 FG%


Chris Mannix - SI.com

14th pick: Dario Saric - PF, 6'10", 223lbs, Croatia, 20 years old

2013-14 stats: 16.7 ppg, 9.7 rpg, 49.7 FG%

18th pick: Zach LaVine - PG, 6-6, 181lbs, UCLA, Freshman, 19 years old

2013-14 stats: 9.4ppg, 2.5 rpg, 1.8 apg, 44.1 FG%

Draft Combine Measurements: 6'8.25" wingspan, 4.7% body fat, 41.5-inch max vertical

27th pick: Kyle Anderson - G, 6-9, 230lbs, UCLA, , Sophomore, 20 years old

2013-14 stats: 14.6 ppg, 8.8 rpg, 6.5 apg, 1.8 spg, 48.3 FG%

Draft Combine Measurements: 7'2.75" wingspan, 13.4% body fat

Sam Amico - FoxSports.com

14th pick: Adreian Payne - F, 6-9, 239lbs, Michigan State, Senior, 23 years old

2013-14 stats: 16.4 ppg, 7.3 rpg, 42.3 3FG%

Draft Combine Measurements: 7'4" wingspan, 7.6% body fat

18th pick: Elfrid Payton - PG, 6-4, 185lbs, UL-Lafayette, Junior, 20 years old

2013-14 stats: 19.3 ppg, 5.8 apg, 2.3 spg, 50.0 FG%

Draft Combine Measurements: 6'8" wingspan, 5.7% body fat, 35.5-inch max vertical leap

27th pick: K.J. McDaniels - SF, 6-6, 196 lbs, Clemson, Junior, 21 years old

2013-14 stats: 17.1 ppg, 7.1 rpg, 2.8 bpg, 45.9 FG%

Draft Combine Measurements: 6' 11.25" wingspan, 4.5% body fat, 37-inch max vertical leap

50th pick: Isaiah Austin :(

Tim Keeney - BleacherReport.com

14th pick: Zach LaVine - PG, 6-6, 181lbs, UCLA, Freshman, 19 years old

2013-14 stats: 9.4ppg, 2.5 rpg, 1.8 apg, 44.1 FG%

Draft Combine Measurements: 6'8.25" wingspan, 4.7% body fat, 41.5-inch max vertical

18th pick: James Young - G/F, 6-7, 213lbs, Kentucky, Freshman, 18 years old

2013-14 stats: 14.3 ppg, 3.3 rpg, 40.7 3FG%

Draft Combine Measurements: 7'0" wingspan, 5.1% body fat, 35.5-inch max vertical

27th pick: Kyle Anderson - G, 6-9, 230lbs, UCLA, , Sophomore, 20 years old

2013-14 stats: 14.6 ppg, 8.8 rpg, 6.5 apg, 1.8 spg, 48.3 FG%

Draft Combine Measurements: 7'2.75" wingspan, 13.4% body fat

50th pick: Josh Huestis - SF, 6-7, 213lbs, Stanford, Senior, 22 years old

2013-14 stats: 11.2 ppg, 8.2 rpg, 1.9 bpg, 45.1 FG%

Pre-Draft Measurements: 7'1" wingspan, 38.5-inch max vertical


DraftExpress.com

14th pick: Jusuf Nurkic - C, 6-11, 280lbs, Bosnia, 19 years old

2013-14 stats: 11.7 ppg, 5.7 rpg, 0.8 bpg, 54.5 FG%

Pre-Draft Measurements: 7'2" wingspan, 23-inch max vertical

18th pick: James Young - G/F, 6-7, 213lbs, Kentucky, Freshman, 18 years old

2013-14 stats: 14.3 ppg, 3.3 rpg, 40.7 3FG%

Draft Combine Measurements: 7'0" wingspan, 5.1% body fat, 35.5-inch max vertical

27th pick: Jerami Grant - SF/PF, 6-8, 214lbs, Syracuse, Sophomore, 20 years old

2013-14 stats: 12.1 ppg, 6.8 rpg, 0.6 bpg, 49.6 FG%

Draft Combine Measurements: 7'3" wingspan, 3.8% body fat

50th pick: Dwight Powell - PF, 6-11, 234lbs, Stanford, Senior, 22 years old

2013-14 stats: 14 ppg, 6.9 rpg, 3.1 apg, 46.2 FG% 25.6 3FG%

Draft Combine Measurements: 7'.05" wingspan, 6.2% body fat, 35-inch max vertical

Scott Howard-Cooper - NBA.com

14th pick: Gary Harris - SG, 6'4" 205lbs, Michigan State, Sophomore, 19 years old

2013-14 stats: 16.7 ppg, 4.0 rpg, 2.7 apg, 1.8 spg, 35.2 3FG%

Draft Combine Measurements: 6'7" wingspan, 4.6% body fat

18th pick: Clint Capela - PF, 6-11, 222lbs, Switzerland, 20 years old

2013-14 stats: 9.4 ppg, 6.9 rpg, 1.5 bpg, 63.2 FG%

27th pick: Jerami Grant - SF/PF, 6-8, 214lbs, Syracuse, Sophomore, 20 years old

2013-14 stats: 12.1 ppg, 6.8 rpg, 0.6 bpg, 49.6 FG%

Draft Combine Measurements: 7'3" wingspan, 3.8% body fat

50th pick: Cameron Bairstow - PF/C, 6-10, 252 lbs, New Mexico, Senior, 23 years old

2013-14 stats: 20.4 ppg, 7.4 rpg, 1.5 bpg, 55.6 FG%

Draft Combine Measurements: 7' 0.75" wingspan, 8.7% body fat, 33.5-inch max vertical

Kris Habbas - NBADraftInsider.com

14th pick: Adreian Payne - F, 6-9, 239lbs, Michigan State, Senior, 23 years old

2013-14 stats: 16.4 ppg, 7.3 rpg, 42.3 3FG%

Draft Combine Measurements: 7'4" wingspan, 7.6% body fat

18th pick: T.J. Warren - SF, 6-8, 220lbs, NC State, Sophomore, 20 years old

2013-14 stats: 24.9 ppg, 7.1 rpg, 1.8 spg, 52.5 FG%

Draft Combine Measurements: 6'10.25" wingspan, 8.0% body fat, 35.5-inch vertical leap

27th pick: Jusuf Nurkic - C, 6-11, 280lbs, Bosnia, 19 years old

2013-14 stats: 11.7 ppg, 5.7 rpg, 0.8 bpg, 54.5 FG%

Pre-Draft Measurements: 7'2" wingspan, 23-inch max vertical

50th pick: Damien Inglis - SF, 6-8, 240lbs, French Guyana, 19 years old

2013-14 stats: 4.6 ppg, 3.6 rpg, 49.5 FG%

Pre-Draft Measurements: 7'3" wingspan

Most Common Picks

14th pick: Adreian Payne (2)

18th pick: Tie - James Young, Zach LaVine (2)

27th pick: Tie - Jerami Grant, Kyle Anderson, Clint Capela (2)

50th pick: Tie - Damien Inglis, Cameron Bairstow, Dwight Powell, Josh Huestis, James McAdoo (1)

Overall: Tie - Zach LaVine, James Young, Clint Capela (3)


Summary

Nik Stauskas seems to have worked his way into the top 13 of everyone's mock drafts since the last round-up as he didn't appear once in the 14 slot after doing so twice last time.  James Young has seen his stock slip a bit, showing up twice at 18 instead of 14 previously, while Zach LaVine holds steady.  And after seeing his value climb in recent weeks, Clint Capela has been joined at the tail end of the first round by Jerami Grant and Kyle Anderson.  I'm sure all of this movement is based on unfounded rumors and misdirection forthright assessments and objective workout results.

While we all have our calcified prejudices pet ideas of who the Suns should draft, I don't think any of us would be disappointed with a projected haul of LaVine, Young and Capela if they ended up being the best players available at 14, 18 and 27.  Missing out on Adreian Payne could leave the Suns with a Channing Frye-sized hole at power forward depending on how Frye's free agency plays out.  What Ryan McDonough does with the 50th pick is anyone's guess anyone's guess, but I think Phoenix should swing for the fences with an international project like Damien Inglis if he's still there.

All of these mocks assume everyone picks at their designate slot.  If you like the free-for-all of a trade-happy mock draft, then please, please, please visit the Bright Side of the Sun Community Mock Draft in which 2/3 of all active NBA players changed hands and Minnesota struck draft gold with Julius Randle falling to the 9th pick and Tyler Ennis sliding all the way to 22.  Seriously, it's a fun and completely bonkers read and probably just as likely to happen in that order as it is Chad Ford's.  If you want a more "realistic" mock draft that includes trades, look no further than the 2014 SBNation Mock Draft which is also a fun, if slightly less bonkers, read.

And feel free to share your mock draft thoughts in the comments below.  We're all experts here on the internet!

Gary Harris is a talented player who gets it done on both ends of the floor. Does he fit into Phoenix's plans?

GARY HARRIS

School: Michigan State

Position: Shooting Guard

Age: 19 (sophomore)

Draft Range: Draft Express - 14NBA Draft Insider - 13

Stats

Measurables

  • Height: 6'2.5" without shoes, 6'4.5" in shoes
  • Weight: 205 pounds
  • Wingspan: 6'6.25"
  • Standing Reach: 8'

Combine Numbers

Harris did not participate in the athletic testing at the combine.

Shooting

Shooting is the strength of Harris' game. He's primarily a jump-shooter, and a very good one. He can hit shots from all over the floor: spotting up on the perimeter, running off screens and pulling up op stepping back off the dribble.

He's a good free-throw shooter, although as a jump-shooter he doesn't get there a ton at four attempts per game.

Harris already had NBA 3-point range, and he isn't shy about letting them fly. He shot over 40 percent as a freshman, but his percentage fell to 35 as his attempts per game increased by two. If Harris goes to a team where he gets good looks from the perimeter, the percentage should shoot back up.

Scoring Ability

Harris is primarily a jump-shooter, but he's a very intelligent one who knows how to get off good looks. He is terrific at using screens and reading defenders, curling or flaring depending on how the defender plays in order to get himself open. He's also capable as the ball-handler in the pick-and-roll, making on-target pocket passes if the defense jumps at him or stepping into jumpers if the roll man is covered. If defenders close out hard Harris is able to put the ball in the deck and finish strong.

Harris is a capable ball-handler and passer, able to bring the ball up the court, run the offense and get his teammates the ball. I don't think he is a full-time point guard, but he's comfortable with the ball in or out of his hands.

However, he's not an overly explosive athlete, which makes it difficult for him to get all the way to the basket, or to finish once he gets there. He shot just 45.5 percent at the rim and made just 25 shots at the rim in the halfcourt. He can dribble but his handles aren't overly advanced and he doesn't have a lot of shake to him. At this point, he just isn't very dynamic.

Defense

Though Harris lacks elite length or athleticism, he has everything else you'd like to see in a top notch perimeter defender. He gives great effort on the defensive end, rather than saving his energy for offense, and was often matched up with the opposition's best perimeter player. He's a strong, compact guard who can fight through screens and hold his ground when opponents try to drive on him. He has quick feet and works hard to stay in great position. He closes out under control and contests shooters well.

He's a thief, playing the passing lanes and timing his reach ins well to disrupt offenses and create turnovers. Yet he's smart about it and picks his spots rather than gambling every time down the floor. His help defense is terrific, as he is always looking to provide support when teammates need it by rotating over to the right spot, yet he does so without losing his own man. His IQ and fundamentals are terrific.

To sum it up, he's just a pest.

Overall

Harris is the best two-way guard in this draft not named Marcus Smart. He's very smart and effective on both ends; a skilled offensive player and a relentless defensive one.

But his lack of polish or explosion as a penetrator worries me, and I'm not alone. Every year, Sports Illustrated posts evaluations of many draft prospects from a group of anonymous NBA Scouts - a group SI calls Finch. Here's what Finch had to say about Harris:

"He can put the ball in the basket, but I would love him to be a better ballhandler and make plays for others guys. He's a good athlete; I don't think he's a special athlete. He can guard better than guys like [Nik] Stauskas and [Doug] McDermott, but he's not nearly in their class as a shooter."

Harris visited Phoenix for a workout earlier this month, and Suns GM Ryan McDonough said he wasn't worried about Harris' drop in efficiency as a sophomore:

"I think he was dealing with some injuries this past year. I think he was banged up from all the intel we've gathered. He's one of the better two-way players in the draft. He certainly shot the ball well out here today and his ability to defend stood out. I don't think it was a matter of him getting overloaded, I think it was a matter of him getting physically worn down and beat up."

Fit in Phoenix

I like Harris, but I don't love him. Further complicating matters, there isn't a natural fit for him on this team at the moment. The Suns took their developmental back-up shooting guard last year in Archie Gooodwin. Are they ready to draft over him after just one year?

Harris is a guard; he doesn't have the versatility to play small forward that we see with bigger guards like current Sun Gerald Green or lottery prospect Nik Stauskas. Are the Suns maximizing their value of the No. 14 pick (he likely won't get to 18 if the Suns pass on him with their first pick) if they have both Goodwin an Harris basically fighting for the same minutes?

Potential solution would be to play the two together. Goodwin and Harris' skill sets are somewhat complementary as one is a shooter and one is a slasher. However, in the scenario, one or both of them would be asked to run the point, and I don't believe it would be a good idea to burden them with that responsibility this early in their careers. The Suns don't have the kind of playmaking bigs or wing that could make this young backcourt work.

The other solution is to split up Dragic and Bledsoe's minutes a bit more and go with more traditional backcourts with one of the point guards and one of the shooting guards. However, there's no reason to fix something that isn't broke, an that still isn't freeing up very many minutes anyway.

In terms of system fit, I think Harris could do very well in Phoenix. He's good in the open court, smart and a very good shooter who can space the floor for the point guards. There's a very good chance he's the best player available when the Suns go on the clock, and in that case it might be best just to go with talent and figure the rest out later.

Poll
Should the Suns draft Gary Harris at No. 14?

  117 votes | Results

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