The Phoenix Suns are going to see a lot of players in the next four weeks leading up to the Draft. Last year, they saw 60 players work out on their turf, doing their drills, seeing who would best fit the profile the Suns want.
"We try to do that at least initially to have two point guards, two wing players and two big men," the Suns GM walked us through on how he preferred to have the workouts be organized. "We feel like doing it this way simulates game action the best. You can see some pick and roll situations, you can play some three on three full court, you have individual match ups that are pretty good, you get to see how guys guard different positions if they're cross matched."
Today, the Suns will follow that model again. Joining the big men will be first round prospect and muscleman Patric Young, while the guards will include ASU standout Jahii Carson.
Overview of the Workout
Patric Young made a name for himself by being the most chiseled guy on the court. In fact, he looks like a 22 year old Mark West just walked back in that door. Young will have many of the same characteristics that Mark West displayed for Hornacek's team in the late 80s/early 90s - rebounding, toughness and a great, great attitude.
"With my maturity and attitude and work ethic," he said. "I can bring good chemistry to a team. If they need someone to just come in an defend and rebound, I can be that guy."
This was Young's first workout, but he wasn't surprised by the drills. In fact, he recognized many of them from his Florida days.
"It's pretty similar to University of Florida," he said. "We're pretty high-paced as well. We did a three-on-three transition drill here that's something we do at Florida as well so I wasn't surprised with that. Everything else was... well, I'm not in a position to be very picky on what system I can fit in. So if I'm chosen here to go up and down I'm going to play that role the best I can."
Young is very well-spoken 22-year old kid who already recognizes his role as an NBA rookie - to fit in and provide whatever the coaches want him to provide.
Former ASU and local high school standout Jahii Carson measured out as the smallest player at the Draft Combine but he plays plenty big on the court. He mentioned Isaiah Thomas (the Sacramento kid) and Nate Robinson as guys he uses for confidence that his game will translate to the NBA level.
"I think I fit in pretty well," he said of the chance to get drafted by the Suns. "Hopefully they like me."
He says it "would be a dream come true" to be the "triple threat" of high school, college and pros in the same city. Channing Frye has come close, but went to high school in Phoenix (St. Mary's) and college in Tucson and wasn't originally drafted by the Suns out of University of Arizona.
Carson would provide the pure trifecta, but he knows he doesn't have an easy road to the NBA.
"My freshman year I couldn't shoot the basketball, so that was a flaw," he said of last year when he was projected to go in the first round. "Then this year I got my team to the NCAA tournament but I should have gone my freshman year. Everybody has speculation."
Carson says he's been told his draft range is in the 25-40 range, according to feedback he's gotten since the Combine, and that he has 10 more workouts already on his planner with another two still to be firmed up.
- PG Jahii Carson, 5'9 3/4", ranked 56 of DX Top 100, projected pick 55 in DX mock draft
- F/C Patric Young, 6'10", ranked 43 of DX Top 100, projected pick 41 in DX mock draft
- SF Taylor Braun, 6'7", not in DX Top 100
- G Tim Frazier, 6'1", not in DX Top 100
- F Josh Huestis, 6'7", ranked 54 of DX Top 100 but not in latest mock draft
- F Cory Jefferson, 6'9", ranked 57 of DX Top 100 but not in latest mock draft