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Phoenix Suns Draft Workout Reveals Little, Team Leaning Towards Front Line Help

Draft workouts ahead of the NBA Draft can be a bit overblown. As Alvin Gentry pointed out, you don't make a decision based on how a guy looks in a one-hour workout. Guys can have a great day or a poor day so what the scouts say about a player is more important than seeing them in a six-person workout situation. What matters a lot according to Gentry and Lance Blanks, is the opportunity to talk to the players and get to know them.

Blanks said the entire group of players worked out on Thursday did well. Most of the players the team saw in this workout were slotted in the second round, if at all. He said the team is doing due diligence and it doesn't mean they are looking to add a second round pick (they traded their 2011 second round pick to Chicago in the Hakim Warrick sign and trade).

Asked if the Suns have interest in trading up in the draft, Blanks gave a standard GM response about always trying to get better and said he would be out of place saying if that means the Suns are going to "move up, back or side-wise for that matter".

As for the Suns draft plans, Blanks said the biggest need was up front with a desire to get more physical. On the perimeter he said, "we have a surplus of three's (small forwards) but the off-guard position is something that we'd like to inject."

Alvin Gentry had a slightly different take on it:

NBA Draft: Phoenix Suns Not Inclined Towards Picking Wing Player - SB Nation Arizona
"It would have to be a really, really good wing because I like the guys that we have and the guys thats coming back so that would be something, it would have to be somebody pretty special."

According to Gentry, the team's biggest need as he's expressed to the front office, is a "go-to" player. "I still think that we need that go-to guy. A guy that we can throw the ball to at the end of games where he can go get us a basket. I think that's asking a lot for Steve (Nash) to do it all the time, screen and rolls and whatever," Gentry said.

Blanks said he considers this year's draft to have a lot of parity.

"There's probably a player at 13 that you might be able to get at 10 or 15 that could be just as good as a player drafted at five. With the parity of this draft you've got to be careful of thinking that just because a player is drafted high that he's going to be the best player in the draft. I think there are going to players that are going to be pretty good that are going to be drafted after those top guys," Blanks said.

The highest-ranked prospect in this workout was forward JuJuan Johnson, a forward out of Purdue. Blanks was asked for his thoughts on Johnson and gave an answer that was typical of the level of information he was willing to share.

"I don't want to sound coy with this, but I don't think we know where he's slotted. I don't think we know that until a guy is drafted. He had a great year, he did a good job, as I mentioned all the guys did in the workouts. Where his stock is now, it's a perception. I don't think you can realize until draft night. I wouldn't want to speculate either way on where he might be."

The Suns won't be making any of the other players (Jimmer, Burks, etc) available to the media when they come for workouts.

Gentry said he has a few more interviews to do for a "defensive coordinator" assistant coach. The goal is to have someone hired in June so they have time to get to know the players before the CBA expires on July 1.

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