Archie's just a kid!

After working out Travis Wear and Kyle Anderson from UCLA, Justin Cobbs from Cal and Mike Moser from Oregon, GM Ryan McDonough said Monday "felt like a Pac-12 All-Star game." Oh, if that were only a thing.  Oh my god it is a thing.

A power forward?? Kevin Love's a power forward!!

The Kevin Love to anywhere conversation has reached a fever pitch.  No one more deftly realizes that he could unintentionally speculate as to Love's plans and then deflects than Ricky RubioHe had this conversation on a string.

We have to remember that Archie Goodwin is a teenager, and mistakes will happen. Mistakes like disorderly conduct.  Mistakes like resisting arrest.  Mistakes like skating rinks in Little Rock, Arkansas.  Reports that the police department is investigating the victim for flopping are unconfirmed.

University of Arizona guard Nick Johnson is "happy to be home." Though I'm sure he'd be just as happy in Atlanta, Boston, Oklahoma City, Orlando or Toronto if it meant comboguarding for big bucks.  He can thank those practices with Rex Chapman as an 8 year old.

For those concerned with veteran leadership and a vocal leader for the Suns, Shawn Marion doesn't seem opposed to another season in Phoenix. He refuted early reports that he would like to retire as a Maverick.  He said he'd like to retire in Dallas after his playing days.  Obviously after he's won another ring with the Suns.

While you sleep forces are conspiring to make your live Phoenix Suns experience more expensive.

I hope Alvin Gentry and Tyronne Lue took the same flight. I hope they tried to outdo one another with the, "oh you'd be great for that job" routine.

The Gorilla did some good. I'm sure the dancers helped even more.

And since you're thinking about the dancers now.

The Bright Side of the Sun writing staff is nearly doubling in size! Check it out.

Remember when I posted an article about 10 days ago asking for new writers for Bright Side of the Sun? I mentioned that I only needed 1 or 2 new contributors because we already have eight contributors on staff besides myself.

Our current All-Star cast of writers includes Sean Sullivan, Kris Habbas, Sreekar, Mike Lisboa, Scott Howard, Jacob Padilla, Jim Coughenour, Bryan Gibberman and East Bay Ray.

Adding 1 or 2 writers? Well, apparently I was aiming really low.

I got 26 requests to join the staff and most of you wrote at least one fanpost as your official application for the job. I am floored. Everyone knows its a non-paid endeavor, yet still you want to join the staff. That's incredibly awesome.

After whittling down the applicants on various measures -- current and past fanposts, other experience (blogging elsewhere before) and other skills (school) -- I decided I can't just add 1 or 2 new writers.

We are adding as many as SEVEN new writers

Almost every person on the current staff has a regular, full time job or is going to school or both. We don't have time to be as creative as we want, so I decided it's time to expand the team and let everyone have their own niche. Less pressure, more creativity, more fun!

Here's the list of new writers, along with their primary focus:

  • Rollin J. Mason - REGULAR FEATURES, MODERATING, PROMOTING FAN POSTS
  • Geoff Allen (gallen89) - BAKERSFIELD JAM COVERAGE
  • Jogi - EURO COVERAGE
  • Kellan Olson - EDITING, PODCASTS, ADVANCED STATS ANALYSIS
  • Keith Scheessele - SOLAR FLARES + various unique, creative weekly features
  • Austin Elmer - Bright Side staff mock draft and predictions, rookies, draft coverage**
  • Garrett Benson (therealbenson) - PODCASTS, EDITING
Everyone on staff will write regular features on Suns topics and help cover breaking news as it breaks, including rumors and free agency and trades and such.

We don't even have to stop there. I couldn't pick everyone. I am sorry that I couldn't accommodate all 26 applicants but I had to stop somewhere. Please don't be offended or disappointed if you didn't get the call.

If you're still interested, hit up the fanposts on a regular basis and Rollin and I will continue to promote the best ones to front page. I'd be happy to add more folks in the future.

Welcome to the staff, guys!

With all these new writers, we might have to rename the site to 'Bright Side Plus!'

**Bright Siders, help me talk Austin into managing this year's BRIGHT SIDE COMMUNITY MOCK DRAFT! It's a lot of work, as Sreekar knows from last year, but it's a ton of fun.

How do you accommodate a plethora of talented scorers...?

Sacrifice is a concept that is talked about a lot for professional athletes when it comes to the betterment of the team as a whole. It is an easy thing to talk about, as a theory, but in execution sacrifice is tougher than meets the eye. Not all professional athletes have the capacity to set aside individual preference for group cohesion.

Again, not every professional has that capacity.

To defend those that cannot do this for a minute, could you? How easy you shift the way you have done things from as long as you could remember doing them? Oh, and you were always the best at what you do at your school, job, team, or general environment.

Not as easy as it may seem on the surface.

Every now and then there is an opportunity for a team to be great based on the individual parts collected, but those parts have to figure out how to play with each other. If you have multiple engines, while that is great in theory, that is not a functional vehicle. A few of those engines needs to become a wheel or another functional component of the vehicle.

When Chris Bosh went to the Miami Heat he went from 22.8 points per game, 9.9 rebounds per game, and 15.9 shots per game in 37.6 minutes as the best player not only on his team, but in an entire country.

COMING I TOLD HER SHE IS A DEFENSIVE SPECIALIST. SHE WILL GUARD ANYONE ACROSS THE BOARD FROM ONE TO FIVE. THAT IS THE VERSATILITY THAT SHE BRINGS TO US. -Coach Brondello On DeWanna Bonner

He dropped to 17.3 points, 7.4 rebounds, and 13.0 shots per game in 34.1 minutes as the universally accepted third banana role in Miami.

All the numbers take a dip, but trading in three shots, two rebounds, and six points a night for four consecutive trips to the NBA Finals with the potential of a third ring. Are headlines and stats the most important determining factor for success?

On this year's Mercury team every player has to fall into a niche and become a part of the machine. For DeWanna Bonner it is taking advantage of her length, size, and quickness on the court to become the defensive stopper that the Mercury has never had. This has always been about the offense. Bonner can score. No one will question that after Bonner put up 20.3 points per game in the injury filled 2012 season and 14.5 points per game the next year next to Diana Taurasi and Brittney Griner. She can get buckets as needed.

"It's fun and I enjoy playing defense," Bonner on her new role. "I have my teammates back there helping me out back there. She (Coach Brondello) told me that is what I need to focus on so that is what I am focusing on."

Bonner's niche so far has been assertive, aggressive defense on the perimeter against the opponents' best offensive weapons. From Sue Bird to Alana Beard to Odyssey Sims to Kayla McDaniel they have all had their worst nights of the season against the Mercury, and their new defensive weapon.

With the scoring and offense flowing through Taurasi and Griner out to the three-point shooters leaving Bonner limited play-making responsibility.

Once the offense clicks to the highest level and there is a more defined role for Bonner on that end she is tasked with being the team's defensive catalyst. A role she has accepted with a smile.

"I score when I need to, but on defense, that is where we were lacking a little bit the past few years," Bonner the transition. "That is definitely my focus this year."

With her skill level on the offensive end Bonner could be a 20+ point scorer on half the teams in the WNBA today. She is that good on that end, which further emphasizes her commitment and excellence so far on the defensive end. Full-court, end-to-end, and against any type of offensive talent Bonner has risen her game to that next level on the defensive end. She has shown flashes of being a great defender and consistently been a very good defender since the opening tip of the season.

Would you rather be the Robert Horry, Derek Fisher, or Bosh for a Championship Dynasty or the Vince Carter, Allen Iverson, or Carmelo Anthony for a fringe playoff team?

Where Bonner and Bosh sacrifice on the offensive end they make up for it on the defensive end and in winning in the game of basketball. That is what makes a great team and a great teammate.

In today's NBA a seven footer that can shoot threes, run the floor and block shots is a very desirable commodity. Can Porzingis be effectively groomed into this role at the NBA level?

First of all, a profile for Kristaps Porzingis has already been written (probably better than I can manage) by one of our contributors, Nick Klimas, as a fanpost. If you only have time/interest to read one article about Porzingis click over to his and leave my bush league ramblings for someone ravenous enough to consume all things Kristaps and Suns' draft coverage related.

He's got some other great video footage of Porzingis doing Porzingis things that I'm not going to copy over to my piece since I'm attempting not to plagiarize his masterpiece (or am I?). Big ups Nick.

Now, for anyone still here, let's break down the Lean Mean Latvian Machine...

Vitals

Origin: Ventspils, Lativa

Age: 18 (8/2/1995)

Height: 7'0"

Weight: 220 pounds

Porzingis didn't participate in the NBA Draft Combine so there aren't any measurements, but length and athleticism don't appear to be a concern. From all accounts, if he would have measured he would have done well (although some list him as 6' 11").

Draft Predictions

Draft Express - 21

*On their 6/9 update Kristaps jumped to 15

HoopsHype - 21

NBADraft.net - 21

NBA.com - 27 (Suns)

NBA Draft Insider - 24

Chad Ford's Top 100 - 18

Draft Express has Porzingis jumping six spots in their most recent mock, which might suggest that teams may be drooling over the wunderkind's potential. On the other end of the spectrum, NBA.com has Kristaps going to the Suns at 27.

Background

Porzingis plays for CB Sevilla (Spain) in the ACB league.

Kristaps played 35 games and averaged 15.2 minutes per game in the 2013/14 season. He scored 6.9 points and collected 2.8 rebounds and a block (.9) in that time. He shot 47.4% from the field, 30.2% from three point range and 62.5% from the line.

Kristaps was selected to the ACB All-Young Players Team for his performance (the league's best players 22 and under).

Porzingis was just the third player under 20 years old (he's 18) to post at least 2.9 blocks per 40 minutes in the last 20 years. He posted the best blocks per 40 (6.6) in the history of the U18 European Championship. That mark is better than what Serge Ibaka posted at that age.


Scouting Report

Here's my take from looking at the video profile from Porzingis in the ACB. I'm going to come clean and let you know that I haven't broken down a bunch of ACB film recently.

Porzingis can catch lob passes for dunks with one hand or two. The ability to get easy points on that play is definitely in his arsenal.

He can get up and down the court, which definitely fits the Suns' style.

His shooting stroke looks pretty solid, but he will probably need to speed it up. Building consistency here is a must if he's going to entrench himself as an effective player in this league.

He can put the ball on the floor and go to the basket with a little more speed and grace than Channing Frye (for what that's worth). It's probably not something that will be a big part of his game, but there's enough of a threat that it can't be completely ignored.

It appears that some of his shot blocking is predicated on defensive awareness and correct positioning rather than just super athletic weak side ball hawking. He can actually track a player, cover them on a drive and use his length to block the shot.

Besides the shot blocking, Porzingis can also create mayhem on defense with his length and decent footwork. He doesn't look like a very complete defender (to put it nicely), but definitely disruptive.

Porzingis lacks NBA strength. It's not even close, but he's only 18. I'm not sure if adding weight and strength will help, but he lacks physicality and doesn't try to initiate contact (doesn't seem to have an affinity for it). If it wasn't for the potential of his shooting he would be pretty limited as a big.

It looks like he gets a little confused on offense at times and still needs repetitions on simple plays like the pick and roll and setting screens. The ravelment on his face is easily discerned as plays unravel before him on defense, too. He is not mentally up to pace with the speed of the game, which will get a lot faster at the NBA level.

It's easy to make someone look bad (or good) in a scouting video, but Porzingis just standing and watching the ball when he should be working for positioning and bodying up on defensive rebounds is somewhat concerning. I'm not a big fan of ball watchers. This is one of those is rebounding innate or can it be taught dilemmas?

Outlook

Suns GM Ryan McDonough is on the record saying that he doesn't plan on using all three of the team's first round picks to add players to his roster. It just doesn't make sense to add that much more youth with Len (20) and Goodwin (19) already facing an uphill battle for playing time on a team that is competing to win now. Even adding two draft picks might be difficult unless one is expected to produce right away, which is far from a sure thing picking in the middle of the first round.

I'm pretty sure I'm not the only one who will be nonplused if the Suns actually pick 14, 18 and 27...

Depending on where and if the Suns move around Porzingis could be a great option to help the Suns navigate the luxury problem of their surfeit of picks. Porzingis has draft and stash written all over him, with a two year contract (with a modest buyout) cozily in place. On the surface, getting Porzingis at 27 like one mock suggests would seem to be a pretty good calculated gamble.

Then again, if Porzingis is rising up the board where does the opportunity cost set in?

PHOENIX — It sounds like the NBA squad that selects Kyle Anderson just might be able to do what UCLA Bruins coach Steve Alford did when he took over the basketball program last season....

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