COMMENTARY | The Phoenix Suns entered the 2013 NBA draft needing bulk, 3-point shooting and athleticism on the wing. They drafted two centers and an athletic shooting guard, but it's not as easy as slapping an "A" on the report card. Did they fill the holes with players that can contribute to the Suns' resurgence? Let's grade each pick.
No. 5 Overall: Alex Len, C, Maryland
The Suns needed a center for the future and they got one in Len. Most would have expected the Suns to take Ben McLemore in this spot, but if history showed us anything, it's that quality shooting guards come along much more often than quality centers.
Len needs to put on some muscle, but unlike Nerlens Noel, he appears to have the right frame to bulk up. Measuring in at 7'1", 225 lbs isn't something to be ashamed of, but if he's going to survive the rigors of constant contact in the lane, he'll need to gain some weight.
The bright side is that Len is relatively young in basketball terms and he's already shown the ability to play on both ends of the court. He's lauded as an above-average passer and shooter, while still showing the ability to rebound and block shots on the other end. We won't confuse him for Hakeem Olajuwon, but he's as skilled a big man in the 2013 NBA draft.
Marcin Gortat has an expiring contract and can now be traded for more assets to continue the rebuild. It wasn't a homerun, but it's a solid pick that should pay dividends down the road.
No. 29 Overall: Archie Goodwin, SG, Kentucky
Note: The Suns originally had the No. 30 pick, but were involved in a trade that brought them the No. 29 selection. This trade has been reported but will not be official until the second week of July.
Looking at the Suns roster, you'll notice there aren't many shooting guards that warrant starter's minutes. Goodwin doesn't solve that problem right away, but he's the kind of player that can turn a struggling franchise around.
At just 18 years old (birthday in August), Goodwin has a lot of maturing to do on the court and off the court. His overall grade doesn't reflect his skill level, but rather how well he'll fit on the Suns. Who will mentor him? Who can relate to him?
As a player, Goodwin has been compared to a young Russell Westbrook by John Calipari (H/T Chad Ford). That could be typical propaganda, but his game does fit the mold. Goodwin plays with a reckless abandon that is welcomed in some circles and despised in others.
For the Suns, they need a player who is fearless going to the basket next to Goran Dragic. They need more athletes on the court to get out in transition. Goodwin won't help their 3-point woes, but there's more benefit than detriment here.
No. 57 Overall: Alex Oriakhi, C, Missouri
The current crop of Suns centers wouldn't be classified as bruisers. In fact, you'd struggle to find one player on the entire roster that could be classified that way. Oriakhi is now that guy. He's a little short for a center (6'10"), but at 258 lbs, he'll be a concrete block in the paint.
This is certainly a pick that aims toward the future. With Len as the starter of the future, Oriakhi would be a good candidate to back him up. Having two different types of centers (one finesse, one bruiser) is a premium that few teams can boast.
He averaged 11.2 points, 8.4 rebounds and 1.6 blocks in just 25.8 minutes per game in his senior season at Missouri. He also shot 63.9 percent from the field and 74.6 percent from the free-throw line, which would be welcomed off the bench.
For a late second-round pick, he's not bad. He may never blossom offensively, but his toughness, rebounding and defense will keep him on an NBA roster.
Michael Dunlap is an NBA credentialed writer who covers Phoenix Suns practices and games for the site he founded , HoopsHabit.com.
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