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Suns’ Dudley clear on draft’s top player

Not Fultz, not Ball.

NBA: New York Knicks at Phoenix Suns Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

There are just 16 days remaining until the 2017 NBA Draft in Brooklyn. At every opportunity coaches, general managers, and players are asked for their thoughts on the top prospects available. There’s a script that is to be followed.

Jared Dudley doesn’t follow that script.

The Phoenix Suns veteran forward was asked the familiar questions Monday by Bickley & Marotta on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM. Dudley was clear about who he thinks has the best chance to turn into a star.

“This league is a star-driven league,” Dudley said. “So I’m looking at who has the biggest star potential. “To me, (Kansas forward Josh) Jackson has the most star potential out of (Markelle) Fultz or (Lonzo) Ball — out of anyone. He’s got the most star potential out of anyone, in my opinion.”

Many draft prognosticators have Fultz going first overall to the Boston Celtics and Ball being selected second by the Los Angeles Lakers. Over the last several weeks Jackson has become a more popular pick to be selected by the Philadelphia 76ers at number three.

Dudley elaborated on what impresses him about Jackson.

“For one, to be a star in this league, athleticism is huge,” Dudley said. “He’s very athletic. He brings another dimension, that we don’t have, as an elite wing defender, and you’ve got to have that because you go against the LeBrons and the Durants. That’s why you saw (Boston Celtics GM) Danny Ainge take Jaylen Brown last year.”

Not sold on Jackson being available at number four? Prefer not to get your hopes up about a player that Phoenix isn’t going to be able to draft anyway? That’s cool. Dudley had some other thoughts on what the Suns could do later this month.

“(Duke’s Jayson) Tatum is a scorer. (Florida State’s Jonathan) Isaac, to me, he has the most potential. You have someone like (Kentucky’s De’Aaron) Fox, you have someone like (NC State’s Dennis) Smith,” he said. “For me, when it comes to who can win a championship, if they all reach their potential, to me, Isaac has the most potential.”

Is Dudley right?

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