Thorpe: Phoenix Suns center Miles Plumlee playing like a Top 10 pick from 2012 NBA Draft

Jennifer Stewart-USA TODAY Sport

An afterthought when he was acquired for Luis Scola, new Suns center Miles Plumlee is now playing like one of the best picks from the 2012 draft.

David Thorpe, a scout and analyst for ESPN, handles the rookie rankings for the mother ship. He also goes back to review prior drafts, and this week re-ranked the 2012 Draft.

New Suns center Miles Plumlee, drafted #26 overall last year by Indiana, now ranks as the 10th best player from that Draft.

10. Miles Plumlee, Suns
Plumlee wins the award for most improved player from this class so far. He was a benchwarmer for the Pacers last season, but is now posting double figures in scoring or rebounding almost nightly.

There is nothing special about Plumlee's game, other than his overall size, athleticism and heart. But he is beginning to show signs that he can attack defenders with some jabs and a quick step and draw fouls, which is great. If he can just get better at making free throws, his game will rapidly improve.

Plumlee ranks ahead of two Magic second-year players - Andrew Nicholson and Maurice Harkless - as well as other more highly touted sophomores.

His position may not hold, as other guys have higher ceilings but are struggling this year, but that's a great return on a one-year rental of Luis Scola: a 2014 first round pick, Miles Plumlee and Gerald Green.

Out of 15 games this season, Plumlee has scored or rebounded in double figures 11 times, with 4 double-doubles. He's also blocked at least 1 shot in 13 of 15 games, with 3+ blocks 4 times. And, he is still 14th in the league in defending the rim (48.3% FG%) among those who defend 6+ shots per game. He is one of only 6 players who defend 10+ shots at the rim per game.

On the season, Plumlee is averaging 9.9 points, 8.5 rebounds and 1.9 blocks in 29.3 minutes per game.

Plumlee is a find, and with last year's actual Suns pick Kendall Marshall now out of the league, he's a pleasant surprise to say the least.

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