2014 Phoenix Suns NBA Draft Prospect Profile: Michigan's Mystery Man, Mitch McGary

Leon Halip

Mitch McGary

School: Michigan

Draft Range: Draft Express - 30, NBA Draft Insider - 28, NBADraft.net - 38

Pre-Draft Measurements:

  • Height: 6'10"
  • Weight: 266 lbs
  • Wingspan: 6'11.5"
  • Standing Reach: 8'11.5"

Stats:

The Buzz

With McGary it's all buzz right now, of the unsubstantiated variety.  To this point McGary is the biggest question mark of the 2014 NBA Draft.  His agent has him under wraps, as he's yet to make a visit to an NBA team, and he was a no show at the NBA Combine in Chicago.  There's plenty of speculation as to why that is.  Many feel it may be due to the back injury that limited McGary to just eight games during his sophomore year last season.  Others, including Alex Kennedy at basketballinsiders.com are circulating a rumor that McGary has received a promise from a team drafting in the 20's.  At least publicly, McGary's camp is running with the rehab story.

"Mark feels, and I do, as well, feel that I'm not 100 percent, and he doesn't want me to play unless I'm at 110 percent," McGary told the Detroit Free Press. "He doesn't want to reveal me to anybody until I'm 100 percent, and I feel as if I'm a couple weeks out. I plan to. I'm letting Mark handle a lot of it. I don't know who or when or what (teams). Right now, I'm just focusing trying to rehab my back."

No pun intended I'm sure, on the "rehab."  It was an easy decision for McGary to declare for the draft after his sophomore season at Michigan.  Following his freshman year where he played an enhanced role near the end of the season and was a vital member of a team that advanced to the NCAA Championship Game, McGary's eight game sophomore campaign was met with further troubling news.  He tested positive for marijuana during the NCAA Tournament and was ruled ineligible for the following season.  This made the decision to jump to the NBA an easy one, and at least one Eastern Conference scout indicated the positive drug screen would have no bearing on McGary's draft position.

The Offense

When it comes to attacking the rim, there are few prospects in the draft that do so as zealously as McGary.  He's more aggressive than explosive, "think more Kevin Love than Blake Griffin." That's Kevin Love of the Minnesota Timberwolves for those Suns fans that are unfamiliar.  McGary's wingspan isn't terribly impressive when it comes to the center position, but that's alright because the center position doesn't really exist in the Association anymore, particularly in Phoenix.  Few players take as much pride in setting a solid screen as McGary.  He doesn't have the best form on his jump shot, although the sample size is too small to label him a "bad shooter."  Post game is non existent.  He did benefit greatly from playing alongside talented point guard Trey Burke, particularly when it came to rolling to the basket.   The Suns have a talented point guard, in fact they have multiple talented point guards.

The Defense

McGary's best offensive traits are even further exemplified on defense.  Let's get the cliches out of the way.  High basketball IQ.  High motor.  Gets high.  I'm sorry, that's classless.  McGary hustles, bangs with the bigs, and gets after loose balls.  Again, he's not the most explosive player, but he has lateral quickness and agility that could prove invaluable in defending the pick and roll.  He pesters on the perimeter and is active in disrupting the passing lanes.  He'll be quicker to bounce out and cover on the perimeter than his peers.  He'll also be less equipped under the hoop.

The Verdict

So I'm going to say no.  McGary seems like a project, and I think the Suns have enough projects and uncertainty on the team.  We need closer to a sure thing.  I realize that there is no such thing as a sure thing, but the back issues on top of everything else is enough to scare me off.  There are comparisons out there with Bill Laimbeer.  That's obviously top of the mark.  Having the career of Chris Mihm seems more realistic.  No, Todd Fuller or Loren Meyer.  Yeah, Fuller or Meyer, I'll let you pick.  Never forget though, how close we came to losing Todd Fuller.

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