Over the past two years, the Phoenix Suns have hosted the most draft prospects of any team in the NBA. It helps attract player interest when you have had five first round picks over those two drafts.
Three of those picks are on the Suns current roster - T.J. Warren (21), Alex Len (21) and Archie Goodwin (20) - and are still younger than some of the players the Suns will be hosting in the coming weeks as they try to identify the best player for their #13 pick in the upcoming NBA draft. All three were in the Suns regular rotation at the end of last year, with Len a sure-fire starter for the future and Warren quickly approaching that status.
Another pair of draft picks - Alec Brown and Bogdan Bogdanovic - could join the Suns soon if there is room on the roster. Brown played for the Suns D-League affiliate the second half of last season, while Bogdanovic is probably a couple of years away from joining the Suns from overseas. The two-time winner of the Euroleague Rising Star award is worth a lot more than his rookie slotted $1 million salary, so will probably wait until 2017 when he is unfettered from the rookie cap like Nikola Mirotic did this past season. Mirotic waited three years, then signed a contract worth about $5 million per season with Chicago.
All but Bogdan visited Phoenix as part of the pre-draft workout process before being drafted. Len was recovering from an ankle injury, so he did not participate physically, but all attendees go through an interview while in town so the Suns can best evaluate their fit with the franchise.
And, of course, there's the infamous three-minute run. Tyler Harvey won the day with either 24 or 25 lengths of the court.
This year, the Suns have only one first round pick - #13 - and a second round pick - #44. They won't attract the interest from the busiest prospects like they did in prior years with multiple first rounders on the docket, but assuredly the Suns will get in all the guys they might draft at 13.
Here's McD talking about the process. Apologies for the Blairwitch effect.
Today was a feeling-out day though. The Suns kick off the process with a handful of draft hopefuls, but only a couple predicted to have their name called on draft night.
The Suns will likely hold as many as a dozen workouts with players ranging from the projected lottery picks all the way to rookie free agents who might fit on the D-League squad or Vegas Summer League.
Tyler Harvey talked about the draft process.
All the participants here
- Askia Booker - 6'2", 168, 21 years old, not ranked on DX
- Branden Dawson - 6'6", 230, 22 years old, 87th on DX Top 100
- Kendall Gray - 6'10", 225, 23 years old, not ranked on DX Top 100
- Tyler Harvey - 6'4", 181, 21 years old, ranked #60 on DX Top 100
- Le'Bryan Nash - 6'7", 232, 22 years old, not ranked on DX Top 100
- Chris Walker - 6'9", 208, 21 years old, ranked #54 on DX Top 100