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Suns 2020 Draft Spotlight: Tyrell Terry has met with Phoenix multiple times

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Tyrell Terry is one of the most divisive prospects in the 2020 NBA Draft. Does the sweet shooting Stanford product make sense in Phoenix?

California v Stanford Photo by Leon Bennett/Getty Images

Tyrell Terry is one of the top shooters in this draft, and someone I could see Phoenix giving a serious look if they trade back a few spots into the mid-1st round, similar to what I wrote about in the Desmond Bane piece the other week.

It has been reported that Terry has met with the Suns for multiple interviews now, so it’s entirely possible they are evaluating him for the 10th pick outright.

10th pick previews: Killian Hayes, Devin Vassell, Isaac Okoro, Kira Lewis Jr., Patrick Williams, Tyrese Haliburton, Obi Toppin

Trade back candidate previews: Desmond Bane, Ty-Shon Alexander


General Background

  • Position: Guard
  • Measurables: 6’2” - wingspan not confirmed
  • Age: 19 years old on draft day.
  • Team: Stanford
  • Role: Floor Spacer, Scorer

Draft Range

Here’s where the Stanford guard is being selected in some of the most recent mock drafts around the basketball world.

  • ESPN: 42nd (Mock Draft)
  • The Ringer: 15th (Mock Draft)
  • Bleacher Report: 21st (Mock Draft)
  • Tankathon: 21st (Mock Draft)
  • NBA Draft Net: 12th (Mock Draft)
  • CBS: 35th (Mock Draft)

As you can see, he’s most likely not a legitimate candidate for Phoenix with their 10th pick, but if they decide to trade down, he’s someone I could see near the top of their wishlist in the 15-25 range. If James Jones likes him enough, he’s also made it known he’s not afraid to “reach” for his guy.


Offense

Strengths: Shooting Versatility, Secondary Playmaking, Scoring Upside

Weaknesses: Handle, Using off-hand, Finishing through contact

Terry’s shooting potential is through the roof with his ability to hit pull-ups combined with his catch and shoot numbers and off-screen/movement shooting. He shot 42% on spot-up three pointers on 38 attempts and 58% off screens on a small sample size of just 11 attempts, though the impressive percentage is encouraging nonetheless.

He has deep range and shoots tough shots with the utmost confidence. The quick release on his jumper combined with everything mentioned above in regard to his shooting versatility should leave no doubt that the shooting will translate right away.

Terry was one of just two “Power 5” freshman in the entire country to shoot greater than 40 percent from 3 point range on a minimum of 150 attempts. The other one? His Stanford teammate Spencer Jones, someone that could rise up 2021 NBA Draft boards.

He must improve his mid-range game to become an effective three-level scorer at the next level, along with his ability to finish through contact which factors into the strength concerns. Most of his weaknesses all hinge on the frame, strength issues, and lack of elite athleticism or burst. Outside of that he’s a fairly complete offensive guard, and his passing ability is a bit underrated. He won’t ever be a primary engine that runs an offense, but he could thrive in the right environment where he’s used as a co-captain creator offensively.


Defense

Strengths: Competitive defender, High IQ

Weaknesses: Size/Frame, Offense will target him frequently, Can fall asleep off-ball

I have major concerns over his defensive upside due to how small he is. I like his effort and feisty attitude on this end, but there are some major Trae Young vibes when watching him get switched onto larger players, even at the college level. He will undoubtably be a negative on this side of the ball due to his minuscule size and frame for at least the first few years of his NBA career. If he can continue to beef up, there’s a chance he reaches a level that isn’t catastrophic due to his effort/tenacity, but that value likely won’t be hitting until his second contract.

I would not feel comfortable closing games with him on the court to be quite frank, and as I mentioned before that could change if he continues to adds strength and the rumored growth spurt is true. He is going to get “hunted” by opponents on that end of the court

What all of this essentially means is, the threshold he’ll have to hit offensively to be a net positive player is sky-high. He reportedly grew an inch (or two?) and put on 15 pounds of muscle this “offseason” (if you want to call it that), which is great to see, but at the same time, what prospect hasn’t put on muscle during this hiatus? I never like to read too much into workout videos or pictures showing players have put on “X amount” of muscle, though it is something that shouldn’t be entirely ignored either.


Fit in Phoenix

Terry would actually be an interesting fit in Phoenix’s system with his ability to space the floor and play next to primaries or alongside secondary creators and share the creation responsibilities. Taking him 10th would be a bit of a reach based off where he’s projected to go, but if they traded back 5-10 spots, they’re right in Terry’s “projected” range.

Let me be clear though, the projections this year are more difficult than ever to gauge with how all over the place teams and evaluators seem to be, so for all we know Terry could be 8th on someone’s board and go well before he’s expected to. It’s going to be that kind of draft.

He can play a mix of both on and off the ball, so offensively I believe he would thrive playing next to a creator like Devin Booker. On the flip side, on the defensive end that is a less than ideal pairing in the long-run. It would be a fun fit and the offensive firepower makes this potential marriage intriguing on many levels.

I would not take him 10th overall personally due to the potential other options on the board plus his deficiencies defensively and for how long it could take for him to return his expected value. If they traded back and took him in the mid-to-late 1st round I certainly could talk myself into it.


What do you think, Suns fans? Does Terry make sense in Phoenix or should they stay away from him due to his size and the defensive concerns?