We here at Bright Side of the Sun wish to prepare our readers for every possibility regarding the 2013 NBA Draft. Nerlens Noel and Otto Porter Jr. are consensus top three picks and very unlikely to slide to the Suns at No. 5 and we decided breaking them down would be a waste of time with the draft rapidly approaching. We have, however, taken a look at Ben McLemore, Victor Oladipo, Alex Len and C.J. McCollum. Now it's time to take a look at another big man that the Suns could have interest in.
Anthony Bennett, PF, UNLV
- 239 pounds
- 7-foot-1 wingspan
Anthony Bennett was one of the best freshman in the entire country this season at UNLV. In fact, he was one of the most productive players in the entire country and an offensive force. The numbers speak for themselves (courtesy of sports-reference.com):
Per Game Statistics
What I see in those numbers is an efficient 16-point per game scorer who gets it done inside, at the free-throw line and from beyond the arc who tosses in some pretty decent rebounding numbers as well.
- Strength and length - Bennett has a wide body and broad shoulders with which he is able to clear out space down low to score around the rim and pull down rebounds on both ends of the court; he also has a 7-foot-1 wingspan which allows him to be effective despite being a less than ideal height
- Athleticism - Bennett has a shoulder injury and sat out the athletic testing at the combine so we aren't sure of the numbers; however, watching him play it's clear the man is a plus athlete; he's an explosive dunker in the paint and has a very quick first step
- Shooting touch - Bennett has a good stroke that extends out beyond the 3-point line; he has good elevation on his shot and nice form and can shoot it over the defense pretty easily
- Offensive rebounding - Bennett isn't a dominant rebounder, but he can be a force on the offensive glass when he chooses to crash it; his strength and athleticism allows him to secure position, elevate to grab the ball and either finish with a tip-in or a dunk
- Effort - doesn't give max effort; doesn't always fight hard for position, sets lazy screens
- Defense - horrible defender; poor fundamentals, poor awareness, poor effort and undersized
- Shot selection - settles for bad jumpers fairly often
- Post game - only post move is a turn-around jumper; doesn't have a hook shot with either hand and doesn't use advanced footwork
- Numbers padded in weak nonconference schedule; wasn't nearly as productive or consistent against MWC competition
Anthony Bennett is a face-up scoring power forward. He can handle the ball and shoot better than a lot of guys at his position and knows how to put the ball in the bucket.I definitely see a little bit of Amar'e Stoudemire in him.
However, he is shorter than you'd like and while a long wingspan certainly helps it doesn't negate the problem. He also has some bad habits that were only exacerbated during his one year in college due to some pretty selfish teammates. Can those habits be broken? Or does he just have a low motor and no interest in playing defense? Those are questions NBA teams will have to try to find an answer for if they are considering taking Bennett in the lottery.
He's not my favorite prospect for the Suns, but he is definitely in play at No. 5. Bennett is similar in skill set to the Suns' own Markieff Morris, only he's actually good. If Ryan McDonough likes what Bennett can bring to the team, than nobody already on the roster should get in the way of that.
I personally wouldn't take Bennett as I don't think an undersized scoring forward who brings nothing defensively is what we want.
It's a lot harder to pin the potential targets for the Suns' second pick, but we've tried to do our best. Ricky Ledo, Tony Snell and Tony Mitchell have already been broken down by our staff. Now it's my turn to take a stab at two more players that could be on the Suns' radar.
Allen Crabbe, SG, California
- 197 pounds
- 6-foot-11.25 wingspan
- 36-inch max vertical
Allen Crabbe just straight up gets buckets.
Per Game Statistics
A year after California lost the Pac-12 player of the year in Jorge Gutierrez to graduation, Allen Crabbe stepped up his game and became the Pac-12 player of the year himself. He and teammate Justin Cobbs were responsible for creating the vast majority of California's offense this year, and Crabbe's ability to take on that role while still maintaining efficiency is impressive.
- Shooting - Crabbe can light it up from all over the court; he's a tremendous catch-and-shoot player with range beyond the NBA arc; can knock down shots with or without a hand in his face; also has a reliable floater he uses in the lane and can pull up and hit over the defense
- Basketball IQ - knows how to get buckets; uses screens as well as anyone in the draft, knowing when to flare and curl to get open
- Measurables - good size and quickness for an NBA shooting guard and adequate athleticism
- Strength - weighed in at less than 200 pounds; wiry but could add some muscle to hold his own defensively and finish better offensively
- Ball-handling - terrific off the ball but lacks advanced ball-handling skills and struggles to create off the bounce
- Defense - lack of elite athleticism and focus hurts him on this end (although I think he'll improve with a smaller load offensively and good coaching)
Crabbe is a scorer in the mold of a Kyle Korver or a Rip Hamilton, a sharp-shooter that uses screens and cuts to get off shots. His efficiency is already pretty good as it is, but with a smaller role and less defensive attention he should be even more deadly. The Suns desperately need scoring and perimeter shooting on the wing, and Crabbe would be a great fit if he were to fall all the way to the end of the first round.
Glen Rice Jr., SG/SF, Rio Grande Valley/Georgia Tech
- 211 pounds
- 6-foot-9.25 wingspan
- 40.5-inch max vertical
Glen Rice Jr. is the most unique case in this year's class. Rice got kicked off the Georgia Tech basketball team following his junior season after multiple suspensions. Rather than transfer to another school or enter the 2012 NBA Draft, Rice decided to enter the NBA D-League draft in order to recoup his image and revive his draft stock.
Georgia Tech Career Per Game Statistics
Georgia Tech Career Advanced Statistics
RGV Per Game Statistics as a Starter
*Averaged 29 PPG, 11.5 RPG, 4 APG, 3 SPG and 3 BPG in two game D-League Finals (won championship)
After a productive year free of any off the court issues Rice is ready to make the jump to the big leagues.
- Athleticism - very explosive athlete and has a strong frame which allows him to finish around the basket well
- Shooting stroke - Not quite as good of a shooter as his dad, but he's still a very good shooter who can hit while spotting up as well as off the dribble
- Overall scoring ability - can score in a variety of ways: in transition, attacking the basket off the dribble, in the post, as a catch-and-shooter and an off-ball slasher
- Experience - spent the last year playing, an having success against, grown men; shorter learning curve to adjust to the NBA game
- Character concerns - multiple suspensions in college, legal problems, kicked off the team; overall immaturity
- Defense - lack of foot speed; lack of effort; coasts on athleticism on the boards
Rice is a NBA-ready scorer and would be a solid fit for the Suns at No. 30. He appears to have moved on from his college immaturity which is the stem of his red flags. If Rice is available, he'd be a great pick for the Suns for many of the same reasons that I outlined above with Crabbe.