20120326_ajw_ss1_248

Welcome to the third installment of the Bright Side Round Table as we address all the major questions and discuss all the pertinent issues for the Phoenix Suns off-season. Go back and see our thoughts on Jeff Hornacek as the new Head Coach and the No. 5 pick.

(Today we welcome in Richard Parker to the discussion as Jim Coughenour is on sabbatical)

Third topic: Five Questions on the No. 30 Pick

1. Breaking the Ice: What are your initial thoughts on what the team should do with the No. 30 Overall Pick?

Kris Habbas: The ideally would like to avoid duplicated positions with their two first round picks so a big early means a wing late, and vice versa, but this pick also gives them a chance to swing hard for the fences.

Dave King: I think the team should trade up in the draft, using the 30th pick as bait along with a Suns player or two, or acquire a young NBA talent for it. If they keep it, they should go for a high-potential talent rather than a safe one.

Jacob Padilla: Well, what the team does will depend on who is taken at No. 5 and who is left on the board. McDonough said drafting two players at the same position can stunt their growth a bit, so if the Suns go big at five I'd anticipate them looking at guards at 30 and vice versa. Although I do think 2 wings is a possibility.

Richard Parker: My initial thoughts are to hate the Los Angeles Lakers more than I already do because that pick should be 16 spots higher. Anyway, I think that with the 30th pick we should get good value in a draft deep with guys that project to be rotation players. That can be either by using the pick as part of a package to acquire an even better asset or to just take a relatively talented player that can play on this team (either right away or after some time in the D-League).

Sean Sullivan: If possible, they should try to acquire another lotto pick first, possibly by packaging it with a player. I would also like them to look at next year's draft and see if there is any way they can acquire another pick there as well. If not, just take the best player available. There is plenty of depth this year, if not top-tier talent.

2. Should the team try to trade it? If so, what is the value?

DK: By itself, the 30th pick doesn't hold a lot of value in trade with most NBA teams fighting the salary cap. It's actually worth less than the 31st because the 30th guy gets a guaranteed contract. Yet, it's still a first-rounder, and is likely the most valuable to a team who watches a favorite of theirs drop and can't live without him. So, if it's being traded its either (a) a throw-in to a bigger trade so a team can say they got a first-round pick back or (b) traded "on the clock" to a team that really wants a particular player.

JP: I wouldn't be opposed to moving 30 as part of a larger deal. However, I would like to get at least 2 first round rookies out of this draft and I think the Suns should be able to get a fairly decent one at the end of the first round.

RP: I don't think you should have the mindset of definitely trying to either trade or keep it at this point. McDonough should definitely explore all the possibilities, and there is bound to be plenty of movement in the draft. If a deal comes up where we can package the 30th with other assets to move up in the draft or acquire a better asset, that's when you think about definitely trading it. I think it has some value to it. This draft class is supposed to be deep and there are several players projected to go late first round or early second that will at least be rotation players. However, it is guaranteed salary as opposed to an early second rounder (like the 31st pick) so a lot of teams might prefer the latter.

SS: Yes, see above. I think the value will be determined by the team who wants it. I think we should look at trading one of our players along with it for another lotto pick and possibly a player in return, depending on the deal.

KH: Teams are trying to get under the cap, trade out of the draft in general, and project their roster heading into free-agency. This pick does not have much value as it serves as a counter agent to those goals.

3. Of the prospects the team has worked out, who do you like the most for the team at No. 30?

JP: I haven't set my sights on any one player. It's a lot harder to predict who's going to be available at 30 compared to five. However, I do think there should be some good wing prospects available and the Suns have worked out a couple of them in Archie Goodwin, Ricky Ledo and Tony Snell.

RP: I like Tony Snell, though I'm not sure he drops to #30. I think he'll go in the mid-20s but if he's available, I think he'd be a solid pick. He's got good size to play either wing position, is a good shooter and defender (though he needs to put on some weight), and seems like the kind of player that can at least be a 3-and-D guy in the league. Archie Goodwin is another guy that I like with this pick, though he's much more of a project than Snell is. Ricky Ledo has tons of talent, but his question marks scare me - his red flags are really red. Other guys I like (that we haven't worked out yet but might) are Muscala (one of the most skilled and underrated players in the draft), Withey (probably won't be available though), Crabbe, Glen Rice Jr., and Mouhammadou Jaiteh.

SS: Of the prospects we've worked out who I think could still be there, I like Ricky Ledo. He's a gamble but has probably the most upside of any player in that range.

KH: The wings stand out, but so do some of the point guards. I have been high on Tony Snell, Archie Goodwin, and Ricky Ledo all year so if they are there then the team has some high risk (high reward) options. Keep an eye on point guards as well here including Ray McCallum and Erick Green.

DK: If the Suns keep the pick, a young guy with upside would be a good call. The Suns can afford the guaranteed contract to develop someone who is 18, 19 yrs old and needs time to develop: Archie Goodwin, Ricky Ledo, M. Jaiteh. All guys who have been invited over the past week.

4. There is no way this pick is more valuable to the teams' long-term success, right? Or is it? Explain

RP: Do you mean more valuable than the 5th pick? God, I hope not. I guess technically there's a chance that the player we draft at 30th ends up better than the 5th overall pick, so I wouldn't say there's no way. However, if that happens, it'll most likely mean the player we got at #5 turned out to be a bust so let's hope that doesn't happen.

SS: Probably not. In terms of the odds, there isn't a great chance that we land a starter or even a 6th man with the 30th pick. However, the possibility does exist, and if they can somehow hit on two starters in this draft, regardless of whether they keep the pick or trade it, then I think this could be a very crucial pick for the future success of the Suns.

KH: Obviously the No. 5 pick has more inherent value, but hitting here at No. 30 will be more difficult and therefore that much more valuable in the long-term. You are supposed to get a starter in the lottery, but to get one late in the first round is another story.

DK: More valuable than the #5? No, no way it's more valuable. However, having the 30 is more valuable than not having it. If you take the right player, he can turn out to be a mainstay on the team. Hornacek himself was a #46 pick. Barbosa was a #30 pick. Several other very good NBA players have been drafted in this range.

JP: No, I think you had it right the first time. With this pick the Suns are looking for a rotation player. If they strike out, they've got a few more picks over the next couple of years to make up for it. However, if the Suns are going to turn this thing around fairly quickly they are going to have to make every move count.

5. Sitting on Ryan McDonough's desk are the options to trade up, trade down, or trade out of the No. 30 pick, which should he entertain?

SS: Hard to answer without knowing the specifics of the offers. But of course I would like to move up if the price is right. However, if say Houston is offering T-Rob for the #30 pick as a salary dump, I would pull that trigger also.

KH: Trade up. If there is an opportunity to get a pick in the teens for No. 30 and a player on the roster then you pull the trigger unless their name is Goran Dragic, Jared Dudley, or Marcin Gortat. Those three have more value at this year's trade deadline.

DK: All of them. Whatever gets the most bang for the buck. I've said in #1 though that he should get a higher pick than 30 as his second first-rounder simply because there's a lot of guys who can help this team.

JP: He should entertain all three options of course. However, I'd like to see him stay there unless he can use it to move up without giving up too much.

RP: Obviously, trading up is better than the other two options but it all depends on the price. If he can trade up for relatively little, why not? There's a good amount of talent in the mid-first round and early 20s that I like so we'd at least have to explore the idea if it presents itself. Trading down is also an option if McDonough likes someone in the second round just as much as the guy we'd be getting at #30. I don't think he would trade out of the 30th pick completely, unless it was for a young prospect that we're getting back or as part of a much bigger deal. There's definitely value at the end of the first round and with McDonough being a draft "expert," I'd be surprised to see him deal the pick away without getting an asset back.

6. BONUS: Who is a "worthwhile" risk at No. 30 to you?

KH: Both Goodwin and Ledo have very high ceilings, but also have low basements. If they can get things together mentally to become good teammates and more consistent then they will be potential starters for their career. Risks and gambles have to be calculated.

DK: Any of the 18, 19 year olds who need time to develop. The Suns can afford to wait.

JP: Goodwin and Ledo are both risks that might be worth taking at that point, as both have a lot of talent and plenty of potential, yet neither have proven much for different reasons. Glen Rice, Jr. might be worth a look as well, as would a European prospect like Giannis Adetokunbo.

RP: Depends on what you mean by risk. Since we have one lottery pick and are rumored to be interested in acquiring an additional first rounder, it could be well worth it to take a risk with the #30 pick. Archie Goodwin is a somewhat risky prospect because although he has tremendous talent, he's unpolished and would be a long-term project. However, at the 30th spot, he's probably a steal. Ricky Ledo is a big risk but one that could potentially reap great rewards if it works out, so that's a risk that might be worthwhile (though I still like other prospects more than him). I think Mouhammadou Jaiteh would also be a worthwhile risk because no one would be able to pronounce his name. Oh, and because he's an 18 year old project big man with great size and length (6'11", 249 lbs., 7'4" wingspan) and has major upside.

SS: Alan Crabbe, Ricky Ledo, Deshaun Thomas, Tony Snell are at the top of my list.

Draft-pic

The Phoenix Suns hold the 5th and 30th pick in the NBA Draft. The Suns need help at every position, but for years they have been lacking in scoring on the wing. The Suns don't boast a starting caliber player at either position, and don't have a secondary playmaking threat to score or pass to help Goran Dragic break down defenses.

While the Suns are holding their cards close to the vest, a theme is emerging in workouts and interviews with Suns staffers. It's not rocket science where the Suns lack the most in terms of talent.

"You guys [the media, and fans by extension] know our team, we need some help on the wing."

Only two first-round centers have been to US Airways Center of the 39 players who have worked out or visited. In a draft deep on "average center" talent and almost devoid of starting-potential traditional power forwards, the Suns emphasis has been on wing players.

The Suns have been widely rumored to be interested in SG Victor Oladipo and would love to see SG Ben McLemore drop to them at #5. If both are gone, the Suns could go big (Alex Len, Anthony Bennett, Nerlens Noel) but that wouldn't solve their biggest problem area.

If the Suns get a guard with the #5 pick, would they take another guard at 30? For example, if they take Victor Oladipo at 5, would they then take Archie Goodwin at 30? Or Jamaal Franklin?

"I think it can be difficult to bring in multiple guys at the same time position or similar position as rookies," Ryan McDonough said over the weekend. "Sometimes I think they stunt each other's growth. Depending on what we do at 5, that could affect what we do at 30."

McDonough was asked if that applied just to exact position, or role in the offense.

"Even if guys play similar position but their games are different, it's tough," he replied. "We ran into this one year in Boston. I'm not going to name names, but other teams have as well, where they draft guys who are similar and then neither one of them get a chance, in my opinion."

He did allow for players who are versatile, that could slide to different positions to be on the floor together at the same time.

"It's hard to develop both of them, if they can only play the same position," he said. "Now if they are versatile (multiple positions) then you might be able to develop both of them. But that's what I'm trying to avoid, even if you like both of them and they are the best player at that range its hard to develop both of them at the same time."

The Suns need a long-term answer at every single position on the court. Even point guard might need a further look. As Kris pointed out, the Suns PG position ranked 26th in the league in efficiency differential last season (per 82games.com).

Going with McDonough's theme, look for the Suns to take a big with the 30th pick if the 5th was used on a guard. Yet, the Suns have only brought in (so far) one big who likely goes at the #30 slot: Mouhammadou Jaiteh.

Jaiteh is an 18 year old center prospect from France. Not as highly regarded as Rudy Gobert, who also visited last week but would be drafted in the teens, Jaiteh definitely looks the part: 6'11", 7'4" wingspan, 249 pounds. He plays hard, but has no offensive game and looks stiff in traffic.

But he's only 18 years old (the second-youngest player in the draft), and that's something on which to hang your hat at the 30th pick.

Alternately, if the Suns take Alex Len, Nerlens Noel or Anthony Bennett, look for them to shore up the shooting guard spot with their second pick. 18-year old Archie Goodwin would be a nice fit there, as would 19-year old Ricky Ledo. Both players visited over the weekend.

"Where we are, we need to build this," McDonough said. "If there's a guy you think could be a good starter some day, if he's 18, 19 years old, that might be a risk you have to take."

163840731

Next year the Phoenix Suns clearly need to move in the direction of becoming more athletic overall and add more versatility to the roster. That is on full display in the workouts as the team has now had in 34 total participants, most in the range of their second first round pick.

The No. 30 pick is showing its value as Ricky Ledo (No. 24 on the Big Board), Tony Snell (27), Ray McCallum (45), James Ennis (76), Will Clyburn (NA), and Dwayne Davis (NA) all worked out for the team today.

Of that group the three big talents were Ledo, Snell, and McCallum. Last year Ledo did not play at Providence, but he came in as a Top 20 recruit according to Rivals and ESPN. He can flat out shoot the ball and was compared favorably to Kevin Durant in high school. Not playing as a freshman and then declaring for the draft is a risk, but new GM Ryan McDonough feels this team can take a risk with their late first round pick.

It depends on the player, I am not opposed to it. During my career we have had good success with guys like that in Boston. My first three years with the Celtics we drafted high school guys in Kendrick Perkins, Al Jefferson, and Gerald Green who were obviously younger than these guys here. I am not opposed to it if I feel like the guy has special ability. -- Ryan McDonough on drafting projects or high risk players

Ledo, as talented as he is, does fall into that range as a project or high risk talent, but he is talented indeed. That is not the case with Snell and McCallum.

As the season progressed last year Snell became one of the better, more versatile, players in the country. He shoots the ball very well and has the athletic potential to defend both perimeter positions. Then there is the coaches son McCallum who is expected to be smart and run a team, but is capable of getting above the rim for explosive plays.

This draft gives the team a lot of options and new head coach Jeff Hornacek is starting to see the value of this pick. "The guys we have had through here and Ryan says are in that range, you can begin to envision them playing a role on the team."

Here is a scouting take on the prospects:

  • Ricky Ledo -- Providence -- Freshman shooting guard: Full Scouting Report
  • Tony Snell -- New Mexico -- Junior wing: Full Scouting Report
  • Ray McCallum -- Detroit Mercy -- Junior point guard: Full Scouting Report
  • James Ennis -- Long Beach State -- Senior forward: Full Scouting Report
  • Will Clyburn -- Iowa State -- Senior forward: An effective inside-outside scorer from the forward position with his ability to shoot the ball and take on the physicality down low. He is a tweener, but more suited for the three at the next level.
  • Dwayne Davis -- Southern Mississippi -- Senior wing: He can shoot the ball from deep and score in bunches. In college that was his primary role, but he also did a good job of filling up the stat-sheet nightly rebounding, distributing, and shooting a high percentage.

***McCallum said he got in at least three big dunks in practice and the team said Ledo shot the ball very, very well.

***Clyburn hurt his ankle playing 3-on-3 and had to sit out the rest of the workout

***The Suns are starting to get a reputation around the league with the prospects. According to Snell he received a few texts from other prospects about a specific running drill that is tough. He was prepared and said finished ahead of the pack.

***The team will hold another workout tomorrow.

Suns_gorilla

Hey there, Suns Fans. My name is Richard Parker and I am a newly appointed writer on BSotS. It gives me great pleasure to join the site's excellent staff that works to put out the amazing content produced on such a regular basis. Seriously, this place is awesome and I'm glad I can now contribute my share of knowledge, perspective, and occasional mindless drivel.

What's that, you're dying to know everything about me??? Well, I guess I can't deny the masses what the desire.

Let's start with the most important part - my history with the Phoenix Suns.

On May 20, 2005, at the age of 13, I witnessed an event that changed my life forever. Flipping through the mundane choices on my television, I stopped on the Entertainment and Sports Programming Network channel (with which I would maintain a love-hate relationship with throughout the years), and fixed my eyes on an NBA game. A team named the Phoenix Suns was playing against the Dallas Mavericks in what was apparently the sixth game of a playoff series.

I fixed my eyes completely on my screen, amazed by the team in purple. As the game continued, I unknowingly caught myself cheering for the Suns, a team which I had no prior affiliation with. I still remember the adrenaline rush I felt when a skinny, short (on my TV, at least), and long-haired white dude made a three-point shot to send the game into overtime, a feeling I would come to be quite familiar with over the years. I was suddenly enchanted by a sport I was barely familiar with, a league I knew nothing about, and a team that I didn't even know existed prior to that night.

I am not at all exaggerating when I proclaim that game 6 of the Suns-Mavs series in the 2005 playoffs changed my life. Since then, the levels of my Suns fanhood have continuously increased over the years, culminating in my authorship on this blog. My interest in basketball as a sport can also be credited almost entirely to Steve Nash and the Suns. Without them, I probably wouldn't be playing recreational basketball as much as I do and I probably wouldn't have a sprained ankle right now. Therefore, screw you Nash (just wanted to get that in there).

Much to the chagrin of the people around me, I am now an obsessed Suns fan. I have been a long-time reader of BSotS (since the 2007 playoffs). I was here when we had a moron meter for Steve Kerr (which, in retrospect, we probably should have saved for the GM that followed him). I was here when Robin Lopez did a Q&A session with readers. I was here for MUST START AND FINISH WITH BARBOSA. Now, I am happy to be here as a writer.

I guess I should share a bit about my life outside the Suns (what, that exists?). I'm originally from California's east bay area -

I was going to make my user name "East Bay Richard" but I didn't want to be labeled a poser/stalker of East Bay Ray - and I have been living in Atlanta for the last four years for college. I just graduated with a BA in Economics and will start working (a real job) in August, so expect my writing output to be at its maximum this summer.

So why start posting now? Everyone knows the old adage, "when the going gets tough, the tough get going." Well, when things get tough for real Suns fans, real Suns fans get on BSotS. The team is arguably at its lowest point (success-wise) since I've been a fan. However, my love for and interest in the team is honestly as high as it has ever been. I find that quality in a lot of fans on this blog, which is what not only makes the Bright Side by far the best source of Suns-related news and content, but also the greatest collection of the classiest fans in the world.

In conclusion, I'll do my best to contribute to the brilliant work that the rest of the BSotS staff has shared with fans for many years now. Thanks for welcoming me.

And yes, Richard Parker is a pseudonym. Deal with it.

PHOENIX – “This is my seventh one. I got about six or seven more to go. Living out of a big bag and just washing my clothes when I get to another hotel and using my change up.” – Erick Green on the...

[[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]]

Page 1117 of 2114

1117

Web Links

Sponsored Ads