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Phoenix Suns 2013 NBA Draft Preview: The Wings

It's no secret that the Suns biggest need at the moment is a star-caliber wing to help turn this franchise back around. The Suns already have an above average point guard, and a starting center who can produce a double-double on most nights...but they are missing that scoring threat off the ball who can knock down open shots and create off the dribble. This draft isn't chock full of elite talent, but fortunately for the Suns, the wings are by far the deepest, and most talented overall. Here is a look at some of the likely candidates that could end up wearing a Suns uniform next season.

Jonathan Daniel

1. Victor Oladipo: 6'5" 214 lbs, SG

Other measurables: 21 years old, 6'9" wingspan (reportedly), 42" vertical (reportedly)

Compares to: (Young) Michael Jordan/Tony Allen

I realize most analysts have Ben McLemore as the top wing prospect, but since this is my write up, I'm going with Oladipo. Victor Oladipo is as close to the total package as a shooting guard as I have seen in many years. He's explosive, ultra-athletic, a lock down perimeter defender, and a very good rebounder. He also has the highest motor of any prospect, and is the most clutch as well. In fact, the only things I can legitimately list as weaknesses are his passing, which still isn't bad, and his jump-shooting, which he improved considerably this season and turned into one of his strengths in my opinion. The only player I would strongly consider taking over Oladipo is Noel, and even then, I can't say I'm 100% on board with that decision. V.O. has been shooting up the mocks lately, and deservedly so. My fear is that he may already be gone by the time the Suns pick if Phoenix doesn't end up drafting in the top 3.

FG 3PT FT Rebounds Misc
G M M A Pct M A Pct M A Pct Off Def Tot Ast TO Stl Blk PF PPG
2012 - Victor Oladipo 36 28.4 5.1 8.4 59.9 0.8 1.9 44.1 2.7 3.6 74.6 2.6 3.7 6.3 2.1 2.3 2.2 0.8 2.5 13.6

2. Ben McLemore: 6'5", 181 lbs, SG

Other measurables: 20 years old, 6'7" wingspan (reportedly), 40" vertical (reportedly)

Compares to: Ray Allen/Wesley Johnson?

Ben McLemore was one of the more exciting players to watch this year. He was the best player on a very good Jayhawks team that stepped up on multiple occasions, especially in the fourth quarter, to pull out some hard fought victories. McLemore has elite athleticism, second only to Oladipo among the wings, and he has the smoothest jumpshot in college. He also has nice length and the lateral agility to be a very good defender. McLemore has all of the tools to be a star at the next level...but will he fulfill his potential? Despite his athleticism, McLemore rarely creates his own shot, and doesn't attack the rim nearly enough. He can be so much more than a catch-and-shoot player, but we didn't see him do much more than that this year. Probably the highest boom/bust ratio of any wing in the draft, but Phoenix could be in the market for just such a player, as long as his rewards outweigh his risks...and I believe they do.

FG 3PT FT Rebounds Misc
G M M A Pct M A Pct M A Pct Off Def Tot Ast TO Stl Blk PF PPG
2012 - Ben McLemore 37 32.2 5.4 10.8 49.5 2.0 4.7 42.0 3.2 3.7 87.0 1.3 3.9 5.2 2.0 2.1 1.0 0.7 1.9 15.9

3. Otto Porter: 6'8", 200 lbs, SF

Other measurables: 19 years old, 7'1" wingspan (reportedly)

Compares to: Tayshaun Prince/Nicholas Batum

Porter is one of the most productive and less risky picks in this years draft. H's a very good shooter/rebounder and an excellent perimeter defender who can utilize his length to disrupt the offense. He is also a very good and willing passer and he can create his own shot off the dribble. However, with less risk comes less reward. I see Porter as a quality starter at best or a productive role player at worst...but I don't see him turning into an all-star caliber player at the next level. He doesn't possess elite athleticism or seem to have a killer instinct that often separates the cream from the crop. Don't get me wrong, Porter would be a very solid pick. But Phoenix may be looking for more than just that at this point.

FG 3PT FT Rebounds Misc
G M M A Pct M A Pct M A Pct Off Def Tot Ast TO Stl Blk PF PPG
2012 - Otto Porter 31 35.4 5.4 11.3 48.0 1.4 3.3 42.2 3.9 5.1 77.7 1.8 5.7 7.5 2.7 1.5 1.8 0.9 2.0 16.2

4. C.J. McCollum: 6'3", 192 lbs, SG

Other measurables: 21 years old, 6'6" wingspan (reportedly)

Compares to: Stephen Curry/Reggie Jackson

You know that player from the small school that hardly anyone talks about before the draft, that suddenly shoots up the mocks and ends up being one of the top picks? Well, McCollum could be that guy this year. Stifled by a season ending left foot injury last January, McCollum kind of dropped off the radar for a while. However, he is back practicing at full speed and appears ready to pick up where he left off as one of the top scorers this year in college basketball. As a senior, McCollum has proven that he can consistently be a potent scorer, and has even improved his points-per-game average every year (19.1, 21.8, 21.9, 23.9). McCollum is very quick and loves attacking the basket. He also has a solid jump-shot and loves to get steals and score in transition. His biggest drawback is of course his size, but if the Suns are looking for some lightning in a bottle in the form of an elite scorer, CJ McCollum may be the perfect fit.

FG 3PT FT Rebounds Misc
G M M A Pct M A Pct M A Pct Off Def Tot Ast TO Stl Blk PF PPG
2012 - CJ McCollum 12 31.0 8.0 16.2 49.5 2.8 5.3 51.6 5.2 6.1 84.9 1.0 4.0 5.0 2.9 2.7 1.4 0.3 1.8 23.9

5. Shabazz Muhammad: 6'6", 225 lbs, SF

Other measurables: 20 years old, 6'11" wingspan (reportedly)

Compares to: Paul Pierce/James Harden

Shabazz Muhammad has to be one of the most debated prospects in this year's draft. Coming into the season he was the top ranked prospect overall, but after going through some troubles with his NCAA eligibility and finally showing up at UCLA a little overweight and out of shape, some of the luster quickly started to wear off. However, once he got into the grove at UCLA he showed exactly why scouts and analysts were so high on him. He is a versatile player who can slash to the rim or score with a jumper. He is a pretty good athlete, a willing defender (if not a very effective one), and he has a very high motor; giving it his all on both ends of the floor. The biggest knocks against Shabazz are that he heavily favors his dominant left hand, he struggles in transition, and he sometimes struggles to create his own shot. However, Shabazz has all of the physical tools to be successful in the NBA, and many of his weaknesses are areas that he can improve upon. If he slides in the draft he could end up being a steal for the team that ends up selecting him.

FG 3PT FT Rebounds Misc
G M M A Pct M A Pct M A Pct Off Def Tot Ast TO Stl Blk PF PPG
2012 - Shabazz Muhammad 32 30.8 6.3 14.3 44.3 1.3 3.3 37.7 4.0 5.6 71.1 2.7 2.5 5.2 0.8 1.6 0.7 0.1 1.7 17.9

6. Dario Saric: 6'10", 223 lbs, SF

Other measurables: 19 years old, 6'10" wingspan (reportedly)

Compares to: Chandler Parsons/Hedo Turkoglu

Saric is an international player from Croatia who is known for his court vision, high I.Q., ball-handling, and playmaking ability. He has excellent size for his position and is also a good rebounder as well. Dario has been climbing up the mocks lately because of his unique skill set and his potential. However, he is still unfinished as a total package, and needs to add more size and work on his jumpshot, which is inconsistent at times. Still, while Saric definitely won't be an option with an early lottery pick, he's worth keeping an eye on in case the Suns somehow acquire an additional pick.


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