#Top5Protected Report will take a look at draft possibilities for the Phoenix Suns both with their own first-round pick and the Los Angeles Lakers first-round pick, which the Suns will own it falls outside of the top five. I'll be bringing you frequent posts on all of the players graded around this range of the draft and their fits in Phoenix. We start first with a player more likely to be selected with the Suns own pick.
PF/C, 7'-0", 240 lbs
2014-2015 statistics: 11.7 PPG, 7.0 RPG, 2.6 BPG, 1.0 APG, 51.0 FG%, 38.1 3P%, 89.3 FT%
Myles Turner is one of the most unique prospects in the draft. Turner is nearly 7 feet tall, but has certain aspects of his game that make him a power forward in the NBA. He has range on his jumper that extends to the three-point line, is a very good shot blocker, and has some great IQ on the floor. Concerns about his rebounding, athleticism, and strength has his flaws out there, but he is oozing with potential and has a rare skill set.
Range and Touch
The biggest appeal of Turner is his future as a stretch four. Turner is currently shooting 8-21 from three (38%). He has good form on his jumper and at his height there are not a lot of defenders who are going to be able to properly contest him at that position. It's one of the NBA level weapons that he possesses and he must remain consistent with it this season in order to hold his current top 10 stock.
The main takeaway from Turner's range though is the touch that he has with the ball. He can truly shoot from anywhere within range and that sort of touch equips him with a really nice jumper game out of the post for someone his age. That touch extends to him around the basket as well, as it's obviously crucial for a big to be efficient on balls around the rim. Odd angles and such aren't that much of a challenge for him and it allows him to finish with contact as well. This is very important for his two biggest weaknesses.
Athleticism and Strength
The one thing that jumps out for Turner is his lack of good to great athleticism. He doesn't really explode with the ball and occasionally doesn't get a quick jump on a rebound or rim protection assignment. He really struggles with guys his height that have that extra wingspan and vertical as the game against Kentucky showed. He moves well for his size though and doesn't really compensate in speed, so that's something to note. However, he will have to be clever in the way he makes up for the vertical and that's really something you've got to be banking on. One last thing, there is concern about the way Turner moves/runs and how durable his knees would be over time. So, there's that too.
In order to supplement for this, Turner needs to add some bulk. That's just going to take time though and is a general weakness for a ton of prospects every year. Not everyone is an NBA level athlete right away and Turner is certainly not. I don't think this makes him a project because of how much he helps from the perimeter, but it will definitely make him a better interior player when he adds the weight.
Turner's offense has its share of perimeter stuff and as is always the case with big guys who shoot, there's a concern for him drifting out of the key a little bit too much. While it happens occasionally, Turner is far too smart of a player to be consistent with it. He has a high basketball IQ and that makes him more dangerous with that shot and touch around the basket combo. He has already figured out how to read double-teams and pass effectively out of them, which is a monumental trait for a big man. Playing him at the power forward position has given him huge mismatches at Texas and he's able to both back in the smaller defender or shoot over him.
There's a large misconception for a chunk of fans when it comes to being a shot blocker and being a rim protector. Turner is definitely a good shot blocker right now, but he's not there yet as a rim protector. Turner is currently averaging 2.6 blocks a game and he really makes you wonder how good he could be with some elite athleticism. Turner uses that IQ on that end of the court too, as he can create some really unique shot blocking scenarios coming from the power forward position instead of the center spot.
His concerns as a rim protector go along with his athleticism. The Kentucky game was really a primetime showing for scouts that he may never develop fully there. He wasn't getting high enough off the ground against the Kentucky bigs and that forced him to overcompensate and foul. Verticality isn't all that great if you can't get that high off of the ground and that is sometimes the case for Turner when he can't get his best jump off.
He still does a lot of things right on defense though and there are absolutely signs of life for this part of his game. A perfect example is Willie Cauley-Stein at Kentucky, who has become perhaps the best two-way player in college basketball after staying an extra two years in school. Like any prospect, defense is going to take a while for Turner (more so rim protection). He's still a large shot blocking threat though and that's where he can help teams on that end.
Fit In Phoenix
As far as being a stretch four, Turner is certainly a fit for Phoenix. The range he brings to the position, his overall offensive game, and ability to run the floor would be great. However, the strength and athleticism concerns would give the Suns another big who doesn't rebound well for their position. His shooting capabilities and lack of rebounding bring a resemblance to Markieff Morris already. They are not the same exact type of players of course, but what would the Suns truly gain from Turner? He's certainly on the developmental side as well and while the Suns could develop him, do they really want to wait?
Turner's a very good prospect that deserves the intrigue. He's currently 3rd in PER in the country and has the potential to be a two-way force. At the very least, he's a long power forward who can hit jumpers, block shots, and has the touch inside to succeed against better athletes. In my opinion, Turner has too much to improve right now compared to others in the draft and the Suns would be better off going with some of the other more seasoned options (like Montrezl Harrell).
What do you think? Is Myles Turner a fit for the Suns? Who should we cover next?