Draft Craft: Finding prospects outside of the spotlight.
Welcome to Draft Craft, A "Reason over Hype" avenue to cruise the draft. For this session, lets take a look at the art of "drafting talent late." and the reasoning behind it.
The Phoenix Suns are currently constructed as an outstanding foundation. They have great roots, great flexibility, and the potential to build upwards in a variety of ways. A lot of that foundation has been achieved, in large part, because of a worth ethic and identity present in the major levels from the front office and all the way down to the players on the court.
The head coach, runner up COY Jeff Hornacek expects and teaches a devotee-like work ethic molded from being a second-round pick and having to work his way into one of the more lethal snipers and great teammates of his era.
The general manager, Ryan McDonough, though crafty and evil-genius-like, has a formula that involves finding important players who were not always in the spotlight coming out of college or who were very quiet in their infancy stages in the league. Archie
#MONGOOSE Goodwin, anyone?
The current roster oozes with such identity. A Dragon was found in the second round. PJ Tucker and Gerald Green cracked the league, got banished from it, and worked their way back. Miles Plumlee was a victim of being a pup on a Pacers team who didn't require his services. It's in the current Suns DNA.
That being the case, why not dig a little deeper into how this draft might end up being utilized by the Suns? Perhaps they're not going to use the cannon. Perhaps they're attaching the silencer.
Using the possible late 1st and / or 2nd round pick(s) to re-stock or upgrade the armory
Lets not discuss the lottery or the sexy part of the upcoming NBA Draft. Everybody is talking about that. Lets talk about the darker more murky "second half" of it, and how the Suns could use it to their advantage.
There are a plethora of scenarios that could play out in Phoenix between now and the start of preseason. Every single one of them will involve the departure of at least one very key member of this surprising 2013 / 14 Suns roster.
Trades, player ejections,
Okafor and current player maturity jumps will mean that the possibility of glaring roster holes on the bench / back end will need to be addressed.
Will it be necessary to address these spots through free agency or journeymen signings? No, not really. Sorry Shavlik Randolph. I'll run through a few departure, and promotion scenarios and how the late part of the draft can help smooth out the transition.
Trades, whether he had to be sacrificed to help land
Kevin Love a stud-muffin the Suns felt could help them take a major leap forward or whether he was a sweetener to help Phoenix move up in the lottery to grab Aaron Gordon or Doug McSNIPER a prospect they didn't think would be there at 14, or perhaps because Alex Len had a full off-season of perfect health and was ready to assume the starting role... Doesn't matter. #Plumsauce is now on another team.
So, who do you turn to for those screen and dive SMASH!!! plays? Who blocks those shots at the rim? Could a player be had, (for less money that Miles), that could give you what he can and maybe a little more? Perhaps. Introducing Patric Young. (via DraftExpress)
This Man Beast of a prospect does everything Miles was asked to do this season. He can actually hold is own against big men down low. His jump hook, (with BOTH hands Jacob!), is feathery and full of touch. His defensive rebounding is low, but that's not really because of technique. It was more system, where he often times ended up switching onto shooters and ended up far away from the rim. His offensive rebounding, and steals are amazing. Another difference over Plum: he's animated - you know he wants it. He'd be easy for the fans to get behind. Shot is a little off, but Phoenix employs the #JumpshotWhisperer so there you go.
Oh yeah. He's currently hovering around the #35 position in this upcoming draft. Barring a Hulk-Smash type of pre-draft stock rise, he'll be available.
Whether the Morri, (or just the smaller twin) get packaged to help land
Kevin Love a stud or perhaps Phoenix decides to move them before having to worry about matching RFAs or paying him, Marcus is no longer a member of the Phoenix Suns.
If you can't find an in-house replacement to come in and give you what Marcus provided off the bench, do you overpay a free agent to come in and do the same? Do you re-task Channing Frye if he isn't in the starting lineup because of
Kevin Love the team acquiring a better starting option at the 4? Perhaps, if he keeps falling on draft boards, (11-14 prior to March Madness; sitting around the 17-20 mark now), Kyle Anderson can fill that void. (via DraftExpress)
Floor spacing is there, and he provides court vision in relation to all his teammates and not just to his twin brother. He would be able to increase the team assist rate from the point-forward position, especially off of screens. He can rebound, and with his floor vision, he can fire the outlet pass which would keep the offensive zen between the starters and bench mob balanced, especially if
Kevin Love a starting big with crazy outlet pass ability is acquired.
He could be Kendall Marshall's big brother, too, but at a different position, he could be a better fit!
One more thing. I picked these 2 as examples for another important aspect of their games. They're older rookies; more ready to come in and contribute right away while also being able to help improve the babies [Len & Goodwin] already on the roster.
Not always about the big splash
Sometimes it's more about the ripples you see at the shoreline. Something caused it, but you don't know what it was exactly.
The Suns don't have to swing for the fences in this draft and they probably wont since all signs indicate that they'll be swinging hard in free agency / big-name trades.
Utilizing this form of Draft Craft could bring Phoenix huge returns with minimal effort - a new staple in this #McBabacek administration.
Feel free to discuss the prospects you've been watching in the darker corners of this draft class! I find these guys are more interesting reading material as well!