Patric Young is not only the most physically impressive player in the draft, he is also a great post defender and rebounder. The Suns just so happen to need help in both of those areas...could Patric Young be a late first round target?
Patric Young is one of the more intriguing prospects in this year's draft. He's been mocked anywhere from the late first to early second round, but his buzz has been increasing lately, and his stock seems to be rising after testing well at the NBA Draft Combine.
So who exactly is Patric Young as a person and a player, and why would the Suns want to consider drafting him?
Weight: 247 lbs
Age: 22 years old
Standing Reach: 8'7.5" (tied shortest among PF/C)
Max Vertical: 37.5" (tied 2nd highest among PF/C)
Standing Vertical: 32" (3rd highest among PF/C)
Lane Agility: 11.18 sec (3rd best among PF/C)
On what skills he can bring to the Suns more than other players:
"I think with my maturity, my work ethic, and attitude...I think I can just bring some good chemistry to a team, and just be a low maintenance guy, a guy that's going to be coachable, and come in and be reliable for the coaches. So if I can come in and be a guy they just need to defend and rebound, they know they can count on me to do that day in and day out."
On his ability to play pick and roll defense:
"I think in life it's very hard to become an expert at something. I think I've developed to a level where I'm very good at understanding pick and roll defense, but I'm always willing to learn and wanting to get better at it because I know that no one's going to get something right 100% of the time, so I just want to minimize that percentage of the time that I'm going to get it wrong."
Young is ultimately a puzzling prospect. He has lottery-caliber physical tools and is an elite defensive prospect, but possesses very little in the ways of an offensive game. He is one of the best offensive rebounders in the draft and one of its worst defensive rebounders. Yet, by all accounts Young has excellent intangibles and is the type of player who should have little trouble fitting into most NBA locker rooms.
Young's best attributes are clearly on the defensive side. A great competitor, he makes it difficult for every post opponent to catch it on the block. He is a very good P&R defender, showing hard but also able to switch when needed. The other valuable aspect of his game is the weak side defense, he has a great IQ and feeling for the game, often in the right spot for blocks or charges. Needs to improve his free throw percentages and build a reliable go to move, at the very least. He will never be a scorer, but needs to improve to be at least a threat .
One of the biggest strengths for Young is strength. He is not another athletic tweener, he is a big strong athlete at the forward/center position. Young is an undersized center, but that is not a drawback since the center position is watered down. Defensively Young is good in both man-to-man settings and as a weak side shot-blocker. Young has a few things going in his favor. He has NBA strength, athleticism, and defense on his side. His limitations on offense will be solved by good coaching and elite point guard play at the next level. Young is a very good prospect that will not change the stars of a struggling franchise, but has the ability to be a very valuable player on any team.
Young was one of the premier post defenders in college, and a very good offensive rebounder as well. As a center, what he gives up in height (6'10") and his low standing reach he makes up for with his unbelievable strength, and outstanding athleticism for a guy his size. In fact, his 37.5" max vertical at the combine was second only to Aaron Gordon (39.5") among the big men...and his lane agility time was also impressive, showing that he has good lateral quickness as well.
His size, strength, athleticism, and ability to defend could help him make an immediate contribution to the Suns...even in limited minutes as a rookie. He knows how to use his physique and strength to his advantage by taking up space and playing physically down low. His offensive game is definitely a work in progress, and he may not ever develop into much of a scoring threat beyond dunks and put backs, but he seems like a smart guy with a great work ethic, so you never know.
All in all, I think Patric Young possesses many of the traits, skills, and characteristics to be a solid rotational big man in the league. He also has a great work ethic, high-character, and is a smart player which are all very desirable traits when making the transition to the NBA. If he's still available at #27 and the Suns haven't traded away their pick to get a higher selection, I believe Patric Young should and will get serious consideration.
By the way, his first workout was with the Suns this past week. Judging by the picture, he certainly hasn't been missing any time in the gym:
Florida's Patric Young needs to get in the weight room if he wants to get drafted. pic.twitter.com/ilNYpOYzEJ— Doug Haller (@DougHaller) May 29, 2014
Practice jersey or not...he does look good in orange, doesn't he?