These are some of the power forwards that the Suns could be keeping a close eye on in the coming draft combine that could be potential candidates for their 18th or 27th pick.
6'8", 230lbs, 20 years old, North Carolina St.
Strengths: Great Scorer, Strong, Good Shooter, High B-ball I.Q.
Weaknesses: Tweener, Not Great Athlete, Average Length
Although T.J. Warren may project to be more of a small forward in the NBA, I think his game is much better suited to the power forward position, with his strength and natural ability to score in and around the post....especially for the Suns, who depend on their wings to spread the floor.
If Warren had a few more inches of height and wingspan, he would be one of the top big man prospects in the draft. Warren was the third leading scorer in college basketball this season, behind Doug McDermott and Antoine Mason...and did so while shooting 55% from the field overall...higher than both of them. He would be a tremendous value as a mid round pick.
6'11", 210lbs, 19 years old, Chalon (Intl)
(click to enlarge) (stats courtesy of realgm)
Strengths: Great Athlete, Runs Floor Very Well, Long, Good Rebounder, Great Finisher, Long Wingspan
Weaknesses: Very Raw, Lacks Post Game, Needs to Add Strength
Capela was once mocked as a mid first round pick, with some scouts claiming he could go in the late lottery. He certainly has all of the tools...and his length, athleticism, 7'4" wingspan, and defensive ability make him a very intriguing prospect for the NBA.
However, he disappointed some in the latest Nike Hoop Summit failing to make much of an impact which caused him to slide in the mocks lately. He also doesn't have a great deal of offensive or defensive awareness, and is still learning how to play the game at a high level. He also has a reputation for a lack of effort at times.
Still, he is a young and very raw prospect with a lot of physical tools and natural talent. He could be a very worthwhile investment for a team willing to be patient and develop him slowly.
James Michael McAdoo
6'9", 225lbs, 21 years old, North Carolina
Strengths: Elite Athleticism, Long, Strong Frame, Good Defender, Good Finisher
Weaknesses: Inconsistent Jump-Shot, Limited Offensively
James McAdoo is an interesting case. I remember watching him coming off the bench as a freshman at UNC thinking that he could end up being a star once he figured it all out. Well...three years have past and I'm still waiting for that to happen.
McAdoo has all of the physical gifts you could want in a basketball player. He's 6'9" with a 7'1" wingspan, a chiseled frame, and pogo sticks for legs. However, in his three years at UNC, he hasn't really progressed much at all. He still doesn't have much of a post game beyond his ability to dunk, and he hasn't improved his jump shot enough to be a reliable option within 15 feet.
Still, McAdoo has so much potential that he makes for a very intriguing prospect, especially in the late first round. Most mocks have him pegged to be a second round pick, but with his raw physical talent and his attributes I could definitely see him as a late first round pick for a team willing to take a chance on him. Could the Suns be that team?
6'9", 245lbs, 22 years old, Florida
Strengths: Athletic, NBA-Ready Frame, Super Strong, Good Rebounder, 7'1" Wingspan
Weaknesses: Very Limited Offense, Undersized (height), No Jump Shot, Inconsistent, Not Dominant
Patric Young has to be the most physically impressive basketball player I've ever seen...certainly at the college level. Seriously, the guy is jacked. He has muscles on top of muscles and looks more like a tight end than a center...In fact, rumor had it the coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers was interested in Young for the NFL...but that's a story for another day.
However, once you get past just how amazing a physical specimen he is...you start to wonder what else is there? A guy with Young's size, strength, and athleticism should be absolutely dominating at the college level. He looks like a man among boys out there...but his play is mostly underwhelming. Sure, his stats aren't bad, and he's done a pretty good job as the starting center for Florida. But what about in the NBA?
Regardless of his limitations, Young should have no problem carving out a spot on someone's roster as a back-up center, or possibly a low post power forward, if he can ever develop some sort of offensive game. His size and rebounding alone is enough to almost guarantee that he can be successful in some role. Although Young is currently mocked to go in the early to mid second round, I think there's a good chance he'll slip into the end of the first. Could the Suns use a strong post player like Young to help fortify their front court?
So there you have it, the first batch of players to watch for in the coming NBA Draft Combine. I'll be posting another position group soon full of other players that the Suns will be looking at soon to follow.
With as many as three first round picks available, the Suns have a lot of choices to make. Who do you like out of this group, if anyone, and what pick do you think the Suns will use on them? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below.