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Suns Draft Workout #5: Big Boys Show Up Including UCLA's Zach LaVine & Kentucky's James Young

Suns general manager Ryan McDonough: "At the end of the day the most important thing is talent usually wins out if it's combined with work ethic and character."

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Spor

The Suns draft workouts took a significant leap Monday morning.  Through the early sessions Phoenix had mainly brought in potential late first and second round picks.  That all changed when Michigan State's Gary Harris, Duke's Rodney Hood, UCLA's Zach LaVine, Kentucky's James Young, Clint Capela and LSU's Johnny O'Bryant came to town.

Gary Harris

Position: Combo guard

Draft Express Mock: 14th pick Phoenix Suns

Draft Express Top 100 Ranking: 13th



As you can see in the stats, Harris' efficiency dropped from year one to year two as he was asked to take on a bigger roll in the offense.   His size is a big concern as he transitions from the college game to the NBA.  Standing next to him in person, even with his broad shoulders, you can see he doesn't have a prototypical wing body.  Also of concern is his ability to create his own shot in half court sets.  According to Harris only scored 25 baskets at the rim on 45.5% shooting in half court situations.  On the other side of the court, despite not being as long as you would like, he is an excellent defender.  Harris handles on ball and off ball situations well.

Suns GM Ryan McDonough wasn't concerned about the Michigan State's product drop in efficiency:

"I think he was dealing with some injuries this past year.   I think he was banged up from all the intel we've gathered.  He's one of the better two-way players in the draft.  He certainly shot the ball well out here today and his ability to defend stood out.  I don't think it was a matter of him getting overloaded, I think it was a matter of him getting physically worn down and beat up.

Rodney Hood

Position: Wing

Draft Express Mock: 15th pick Atlanta Hawks

Draft Express Top 100 Ranking: 22nd



Hood had the advantage of playing in Duke's offense that featured tremendous spacing.  There were times Jabari Parker would man the center position for Coach K this past season since they lacked a legitimate big to patrol the middle.  Hood was a big part of what made the Blue Devils offense go knocking down 42% of his shots from deep.  A concern is he only connected on slightly less than 50% from inside the arc.  His defense also contributed to Duke's porous effort on that end of the floor.  I would like to see Hood get the chance to play in a more structured scheme with a big man who has the ability to protect the rim.  There lack of a player in that department does not absolve Hood of his defensive struggles.

Zach LaVine

Position: Combo guard

Draft Express Mock: 17th pick Boston Celtics

Draft Express Top 100 Ranking: 27th



LaVine is one of the most intriguing prospects in the draft and also one of the hardest to pin point where he could be picked.  In Boston, Ryan McDonough was apart of a front office that didn't shy away from picking raw prospects with upside.  Avery Bradley was picked out of Texas as a freshman, while Gerald Green, Al Jefferson and Kendrick Perkins headed to Boston straight out of high school.  LaVine played mostly off the ball at UCLA, but was a point guard in high school.

Suns GM Ryan McDonough on drafting youth and upside:

"I think talent stands out.  With the younger players it often takes some time.   A guy like Gerald Green is an extreme example of that, finally after seven, eight years in the league figured it out and became a productive player.  Hopefully it doesn't take that long.  In Boston we had Al Jeferson and Kendrick Perkins were pretty good players early in their careers.  At the end of the day the most important thing is talent usually wins out if it's combined with work ethic and character."

Zach LaVine discussing his positional versatility:

"In college I didn't get to really play the point guard position and I've played it my whole life.  I feel like I have a good feel for the ball, good feel for the game.  Been working a lot on my reads, how the defense will play you, what pass to make and when is the right time to score.  I've definitely been working on my point guard skills.  Being consistent on defense, more active on the ball.  I have the tools to be a good defender.  Still learning off  the ball (defense)."

James Young

Position: Wing

Draft Express Mock: 17th pick Boston Celtics

Draft Express Top 100 Ranking: 27th



We all know and remember James Young from this....

He more importantly showed up to a Nets playoff game (might have been regular season) with Rihanna so in my humble opinion - DRAFT HIM NOW!!!!!!!!!

On a serious note, Young has the body you want in a wing player.  He has excellent length and is sturdy.  In the NCAA Tournament he flashed the three-point shot you're looking for knocking down 42% of his 21 attempts, but over the course of the season Young only connected on 34.9%.  According to the Kentucky product hit 45% on open attempts and only 32% when guarded.  This speaks well to his fit on the Suns when the point guard tandem of Goran Dragic and Eric Bledsoe create clean looks for others.  On the defensive end he is still a work in progress, but at the age of 18 still has time to grow and learn.

Clint Capela

Position: Power forward

Draft Express Mock: 19th pick Chicago Bulls

Draft Express Top 100 Ranking: 18th



Our own Kris Habbas, who also runs had these thoughts on Capela:

Based on pure length and athleticism Capela is a Top 10 talent with his potential as a rim protector, transition athlete, and all-around defender. He is raw though. On defense he is still learning timing on his shot-blocking and he over-anticipates leading to a lot of fouls or easy shots for opponents. On the offensive end he has improved his hands and he is a big, long target for passes. His jump-shot has a nice form and high release point, but is not effective. Capela has all the tools to be a Serge Ibaka type shot-blocker and jump-shooter at the NBA level with added strength and coaching, but is a ways away from that.

Johnny O'Bryant

Position: Power forward/center

Draft Express Mock:  42nd Houston Rockets

Draft Express Top 100 Ranking: 44th



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