To countdown the days (5 left) until D-Day, your faithful servants here at Bright Side of the Sun will try their best to bring you a wee bit of knowledge about some of the likely candidates to be chosen by the Phoenix Suns. Comment, REC, kill it and continue to be awesome.
If you're looking for the guy least likely to bust, a player who will hustle and compete like nobody's business, a player who knows his limitations and stays within his skillset, then Kenneth Faried is your man.
If you're looking for a backup frontcourt player (at 6'7" he played C for his college team) who will make the most of every single second he spends on the court, even if that's committing a foul or turnover for every rebound or steal but overall having a positive impact on the game, then Kenneth Faried is your guy.
If you're looking for a guy who projects somewhere between Lou Amundson and DeJuan Blair for your rotation for the next 10 years, then Kenneth Faried is your guy.
Make no mistake: Kenneth Faried is a game-changer. T-shirts will be sold. Chants will be heard. Much the same way as Sweet Lou and a number of other, similarly undersized forwards who compete with heart and soul.
Watch this extremely interesting video profile on Faried and you'll know why I think of Sweet Louuuu when I watch him play. The video focuses on a game against Ohio State where Faried spent much of the time matched up to Jared Sullinger (top-5 talent) and Dallas Lauderdale (not) as the pivot man on a really poor Moorehead State team.
On the plus side, Faried played very well against top talent (Sullinger in this case), though no one on Ohio State in that game was taller than 6'9". It's likely Faried will have a tougher time in the paint against taller NBA players.
On the downside, he's clearly used to being under the basket and can't be counted on for offense.
But can he be successful? Hells to the yeah!
High energy post player who excels at doing the dirty work, in particular rebounding, defending and banging in the post ... Plays with exuberance and aggressiveness ... An above average, fluid athlete who is willing to sacrifice his body
In his 15 minutes, he can get you half-dozen key rebounds, a block or two and a couple putbacks. But those 15 minutes will also produce about 4 fouls, 3 free-throw misses and a couple turnovers. On a good night, he'll get some extra run and maybe pull down 20 rebounds. On a bad night, he'll pick up 2 quick fouls and make nary an impact.
Check out his weaknesses from that same scouting report. Sound familiar?
Touch and consistency are not great. Scores mostly on put backs and buckets where he gains deep position in the paint, or is able to outclass opponents with his athleticism ... A poor free throw shooter at below 60% throughout his college career. Doesn't have terrible form, but needs to focus and improve his routine some ... Passing and vision are limited. Needs to decrease turnovers. Gets far too many giveaways for someone that doesn't really use the bounce to set up baskets nor look to create offense for others ... Average at finishing non-dunks around the basket ...
And here's a warning shot across the bow (from draftexpress.com - link above) for those who think collegiate rebounding is all you need succeed in the NBA:
Looking at the top rebounders in our database over the past decade, it is clear that being an elite NCAA rebounder does not guarantee a NBA career. Amongst the top 100 collegiate rebounders in the past nine years, 34 prospects have made it to the NBA. Five of those 34 signed as undrafted free agents, nine were selected in the second round and 20 garnered a guaranteed contact as first round picks.
From DraftExpress.com http://www.draftexpress.com/profile/Kenneth-Faried-5325/#ixzz1PdPLn91E
So it depends on what you want in this draft.
You want a sure thing, role-playing fan favorite whose ceiling is slightly higher than Lou Amundson?
Or, do you want a future all-star for a team already chock full of role players?
If you want the former, take Faried.
Faried doesn't seem to fit the mold of a #13 pick, but he sure fits at the #20 range. If the third-hand rumored swap goes down of Gortat for the #2, it's possible the Suns will swap the 13 for Minny's 20 depending on what Minny is sending back to the Suns to match Gortat's salary. Guys who the Suns have worked out that fit best in the lower end of the first round: Jordan Hamilton, Iman Shumpert, Josh Selby and Kenneth Faried.
Here are some recent tweets with regard to Minny's #20 pick:
"You have to keep him," Kerr said. "To me, Steve Nash is the Suns organization. He's what you want the organization to be about. He's the perfect example of what you want your young players to become. So to me, it's a no-brainer. You keep Steve, he retires as a Sun, and you put him in the Ring of Honor."
A couple of draft-related posts for you. Be sure to check out the scouting report on Nash from 1996.
And there's this 20 year look back at Suns draft picks from Scott Howard.