This past season the Phoenix Suns were not very athletic and struggled to rebound the ball. The second part has a lot to do with the first part as they were 18th in the league in total rebounds. As the workouts are winding down there is a subtle theme in the players being brought in as of late... They are athletic and the bigs can rebound.
Today's workout featured Brandon Davies (No. 47 on the Big Board), Glen Rice Jr. (53), Gregory Echenique (NA), Angelo Sharpless (NA), C.J. Aiken (NA), and Colt Ryan (NA).
(See the bottom for notes on the workouts and some INCREDIBLE dunks from Angelo Sharpless)
Other than the son of former NBA All-Star Glen Rice, there are no locked in first round talents in the Valley today. Junior took a different route to the NBA as he played two years at Georgia Tech before being kicked off the team for a shooting incident outside of a night club in Atlanta. He has moved past that after a "clean year" in the D-League with no incidents.
Rice Jr. shot the ball well here after a porous shooting display at the NBA Draft Combine a month ago.
The other recognizable name here is Davies who was around for the Jimmer Fredette years at BYU. He was marred in a bit of controversy as well after "violating the honor code" at the school.
General Manager Ryan McDonough has said on the record that he will take a risk on a prospect if he feels they are a "special talent." Is Rice Jr. a "special talent?"
Outside of the controversy surrounding the group they presented some great athletic options as well as some workers on the glass. Davies and Echenique are grinders that are capable of maxing out their opportunities on the glass as Davies was 3rd in the WCC and Echenique 5th in the MVC this past season.
Here is a scouting take on the prospects:
***The Suns have another workout scheduled for Saturday and they can workout players up to Wednesday night leading up to the NBA Draft
***The count is now at 68 total prospects worked out: PG (15), SG (17), SF (9), PF (16), and C (11)
***Some members of the coaching staff appeared to be in attendance today including newly promoted Mark West
With a bit of nostalgia, I get to recap for you how the Suns finished out their SB Nation mock draft with a bang. But before we get into how we fired the last, huge missile, let's look back on what's happened so far.
SBNation decided to run a league wide mock draft, with each blog manager drafting for his or her team and negotiating trades between each other using at least one first round pick in each deal.
First, we dabbled in trading up but decided against it and watched Victor Oladipo fall to the Suns. He's the guy that most Suns fans drool about, since he's such a hard worker and was so great in his junior year at Indiana.
Then, after a whole bunch of maneuvering and negotiating, BSotS traded two veterans for two more first round picks and took 7'2" Rudy Gobert (with 7'9" wingspan) and 6'5" Jamaal Franklin (with 6'11" wingspan). The cost was Marcin Gortat and Jared Dudley. I can see Gobert taking a year or two to get his feet wet in the NBA and to establish his presence, so the Suns will need to sign veteran center if Channing Frye doesn't come back next year. But they don't need a 30-year old on a 4 year, $10 million contract (which is what Gortat would have wanted).
Franklin will play big minutes right away in three-guard lineups with Oladipo and Dragic. They can wreak havoc defensively, rebound the ball, run the court like lightning and put the ball in the hole.
One downside is that none of the three is a high-volume, high-percentage 3-point shooter. That means the Suns would have to (a) play them along with a big-time shooter at the 4 and/or 5, like Channing Frye, or (b) play Franklin at the 4 where he played in college while another wing hits the 3s. Or both.
Another weakness is secondary playmaking when Dragic rests and when he's out there to give the Suns a two-pronged attack. Oladipo can handle the ball a bit, and Franklin led his team in assists (and rebounds, points and steals), but neither is a primary ballhandler even for short minutes.
Kendall Marshall could be that playmaker, but he's more of a passer than a shooter. And true playmakers are a threat to shoot from anywhere. If Marshall develops his shot, then he could be a force. But he doesn't quite fit with the new ultra-quick, ultra-athletic guard rotation and doesn't make up for it in shooting at this point.
The Suns have one more pick at #30. But I really don't want four rookies on the roster, so I wanted to explore trading trading the #30 for a young veteran with a future. Of course, no one wants who has a young veteran with a future wants to trade him for just the #30, so I decided to add in as many remaining trade chips as I needed.
I still had Marshall, the Morrii, and a handful of non-guaranteed deals with which to provide salary relief to taxpaying teams.
What I wanted was either a pure small forward who could shoot, or a combo guard who could play the 1 or the 2 depending on the lineup. The player needed to be a veteran but still on his rookie contract and the potential to be better in a couple years than they are today.
In both cases, their former high pick was wearing out his welcome and didn't quite fit the team of the future. Turner was good, but not #2 pick good. And Knight was good, but redundant with Rodney Stuckey and now C.J. McCollum as combo guards on the same team. Both teams could use a pass-first playmaker to get the ball down to the bigs on their team. And Philly had the hometown Morris brothers for nostalgic purposes.
Alternately, we could trade down from #30 to get multiple assets in the 2013 and 2014 drafts (second-round only). But that's not sexy or exciting in a Mock Draft that only goes to pick #30.
Both Philadelphia and Detroit came back with good, doable trade offers. The BSotS front office was torn for a bit. We exchanged at least a dozen emails debating the merits of each deal.
Tune in on Friday for what happened.
Of course, the reaction is going to be mixed. Some people love change, some people hate it. Some people love purple, some people don't.
But the great thing about life is that nothing stays the same.
Here are the new Suns logos displayed on T-Shirts on store.nba.com
Though I really could do without the 'S' logo, I happen to like the other two renderings.
There are more logos too, but SBNation is not yet licensed to show them and we are a reputable outfit. I just took the ones off the official NBA store.
Suns beat writer Paul Coro, from azcentral.com/sports, conducted an indepth interview with the new logos today in exclusive coverage.
Here's a snippet:
The look of the franchise is changing with new uniforms, including black road jerseys and sleeved orange alternate jerseys, for the coming season. New logos already have shown up on official nbastore.com merchandise.
The new Suns uniforms will not be unveiled formally until late September, but the team's logos already have been changed with an understated roll-out of merchandise and a new logo under the brim of Thursday's draft hat.
The Suns also will have throwback jerseys, planning to return the "Back in Black" campaign that was a popular use of the Suns 1990s black jerseys. The Suns have used black alternate jerseys but this will mark the first time that the Suns' main road jerseys are not purple.
Sleeved orange alternates for the road? Yuck. I remember Golden State's last year. Now 5 NBA teams are going to try them out.
Hit the link for Paul's whole article. Paul knows their siblings names, aunts, uncles and everything. They even made him dinnner afterward.