Wednesday’s workout was light on familiar names to fans, but for the Suns it was a chance to see one prospect in particular. Former Oregon Duck, Dillon Brooks, would help fill a much-needed void of scoring off the bench, especially as someone who could play small-ball 4 and become dynamic at shooting right off the catch.
Brooks — who also worked out alongside Laurynas Birutis (C, Lithuania), Yoan Granvorka (F, France), Rodney Pryor (SG, Georgetown), Paul Watson (F, Fresno State) and Matt Williams (SG, UCF) — sees himself as a perfect fit in Phoenix.
“It’s more high tempo, you know, with the three-minute run, everything’s so fast-paced,” Brooks said of Wednesday’s workout. “That’s the way they play. That’s the kind of players they want. I went to Oregon, we played the same way, so I feel like I would fit in perfectly here.”
According to DraftExpress, Brooks and Birutis were the only two prospects ranked in their top 100. Brooks came in at 52, while Birutis would have been undrafted at No. 71. Safe to say there likely won’t be much hesitation from the Suns’ front office to consider a prospect like Brooks until pick No. 54, but a player of his caliber and the role he would help contribute in would not be a bad fallback.
In a draft class where there’s a multitude of shot creators, Brooks slides in as a rotation player who can create for himself and bring a rhythm to an offense. Throughout his three-year career at Oregon, Brooks was tasked with having the ball in his hands at crunch-time moments. Much like Tuesday’s workout participant Malik Monk, Brooks thrives under pressure — and he can take the blowback whether he makes or misses a game-winner.
“I love having the ball the last second,” Brooks said. “I can take the criticism of missing that shot or the success of making it. I’m not scared to fail, so these shots come easy. Every time when I’m on the court, when I don’t work on drills or anything, I practice late-game situations in drills and last reps. Came out to work out at UCLA and Cal, so it feels great to be on the good end of those shots.”
Assistant general manager Pat Connelly also gave his thoughts on the former Duck, throwing him a role comparison to someone on last season’s roster who can come in and create more energy on both ends to spark the second unit.
“Obviously he was a really good shooter at Oregon, hit a lot of big shots,” Connelly said. “He’s a guy I think that’s one of those energy creators that helps. When he gets on the court, like you saw with Alan Williams, come in with their energy and motor. And obviously the ability to hit a lot of shots, but also the toughness kind of carries over sometimes to his teammates at Oregon. When he got going, those guys got going too. It’s something he has that helps.”
Whatever role a coaching staff throws at him, Brooks feels capable of filling it and making a positive impact. A prospect with Brooks’ moxie and shooting prowess will help in that area indeed, where the Suns are starved.
“I feel like that’s where (my game) shines, whether it’s mismatches, finding different angles to score, finding my teammates,” Brooks said. “Just always wanting to win every possession having that high intensity every time I come out on the floor.”