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Suns Draft Primer: Power Forward Edition

Power forward is one of the primary needs for Phoenix this upcoming offseason. Should they fill that void through the draft?

NCAA Basketball: Davidson at Dayton David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports

Thus far we’ve broken down the top point guards, shooting guards and small forwards from the 2020 class. Now we shall take a quick dive into some of the top power forwards/bigger wings in this class and how they could potentially fit in Phoenix.

Much like when discussing small forwards, adding a power forward that adds versatility on both ends is vital.

Dario Saric is set to hit restricted free agency, and there’s no telling whether they bring him back or not. Frank Kaminsky is probably best suited as a center at this point, and he has a team option that could very well be declined in order to create more cap flexibility.

Phoenix could opt to roll out the Ayton-Oubre-Bridges-Booker-Rubio lineup, but there’s no question that they’re going to need to add a versatile wing or two this offseason.

Lottery odds:

  • 1st pick = 3.0%
  • 2nd pick = 3.3%
  • 3rd pick = 3.6%
  • 4th pick = 4.0%
  • Picks 5-9 = 0%
  • 10th pick = 65.9%
  • 11th pick = 19.0%
  • 12nd pick = 1.2%
  • Picks 13-14 = >0.0%

Suns specific PF board

In prior weeks, we covered three other positional depth charts for the upcoming draft:

Now it’s the power forwards, led by a kid from a small school in the northeast.

1. Obi Toppin, PF, Dayton.

6’9”, 220 lbs., 22 years old.

20.0 PPG, 7.5 RPG, 2.2 APG, 1.2 BPG, 1.0 SPG on shooting splits of 63/39/70 in 31.6 minutes per game.

Identity/Role: Scoring big. Vertical athlete.

Toppin is one of the more divisive prospects in this class, as he certainly possesses undeniable value offensively, but his age, defense and questions about his role are all valid concerns as potential limiting factors for the 22 year old out of Dayton.

Toppin is a late bloomer that is coming off a growth spurt in high school where he originally played point guard. He redshirted his freshman season at Dayton, but has turned some heads in his past 2 seasons with the Flyers, leading one of the most electric offenses in all of college basketball.

He can score from all three levels and figures to be a plus on the offensive end from day one. No one really has concerns about his output on that end, it’s the defense that is worrisome.

If you only watched his dunk highlight reels and the way he explodes in transition and throws down windmill or reverse jams you’d expect that athleticism to translate on the defensive end, and well, it does not. To put it bluntly, his lateral movement is just painful to watch. He hunches over and can’t keep up with quicker players off the dribble and gets attacked off pick and rolls. This leads me to believe he’ll be targeted by NBA offenses on the perimeter quite frequently.

With a team that already has to mask Devin Booker’s defensive issues, I’m not sure adding someone like Toppin is ideal for team-building.

2. Patrick Williams, F, Florida State.

6’8”, 225 lbs., 18 years old.

9.2 PPG, 4.0 RPG, 1.0 APG, 1.0 BPG, 1.0 SPG on 46/32/84 shooting splits in 22.5 minutes per game.

Identity/Role: Multi-position defender. Catch and shoot threat. Athletic slasher.

Williams is one of the most intriguing physical specimens in this class. He is a plus athlete and built like a truck. His frame should fill out nicely and allow him to guard bigger fours and in addition to that, his quick lateral movement will allow him to guard smaller players as well.

He is a prospect that will take some time to develop, and may not be lighting the league on fire in his first few seasons, but by the time he hits his prime he’s absolutely has two-way star potential if he hits a high-end outcome.

I like his theoretical fit as a four next to Ayton long-term, but he doesn’t seem like a James Jones guy to me.

3. Saddiq Bey, F, Villanova.

6’8”, 216 lbs., 20 years old.

16.1 PPG, 4.7 RPG, 2.4 APG, 0.8 SPG, 0.4 BPG on 47/45/77 shooting splits in 33.9 minutes per game.

Identity/Role: Floor spacing forward. Team player.

Bey is your typical high-IQ Villanova forward that is an excellent decision-maker, smart team defender, and can hit from deep.

I do worry about his lack of burst or athleticism, as he could struggle to get his shot off around the rim against NBA length and athleticism. He could also be targeted on the perimeter by quicker forwards and guards because he isn’t the quickest lateral mover.

I buy the shot though, and believe that’s ultimately going to be his ticket to getting minutes in the NBA. He shot over 45 percent from three point range last season at Villanova, which is the second highest percentage among NBA draft prospects in college basketball.

Saddiq absolutely seems like he’d be a prime target for James Jones based off his picks and additions made last offseason. Adding a “veteran” college player that has a high IQ, makes smart decisions and can shoot lights out fits right into the Suns’ wheelhouse of players they have been targeting under this new regime.

I wouldn’t take him with the 10th pick as that’s a major reach, but if they trade down to the mid-first round he could be a viable option.

4. Paul Reed, F/C, DePaul.

6’9”, 220 lbs., 20 years old.

15.1 PPG, 10.7 RPG, 1.6 APG, 2.6 BPG, 1.9 SPG on 52/31/74 shooting splits in 31.7 minutes per game.

Identity/Role: Versatile defensive big. Rim protector. Rim runner.

Reed is a very unique big man prospect coming off a super productive year for a very disappointing DePaul team. He is a stocks (steals+blocks) machine, averaging over 4.5 stocks per game which tops any prospect in this year’s draft. To put it simply: he just flat out creates defensive “events” at a high level.

DePaul was a negative 22 net-rating when Reed was off court, and a plus 7 when Reed was on the court, which is astounding.

He is projected to be a late 1st or early 2nd round selection in this draft, and even if the Suns move back I don’t see him being the best fit.

5. Tyler Bey, F, Colorado.

6’7”, 218 lbs., 22 years old.

13.8 PPG, 9.0 RPG, 1.5 APG, 1.5 SPG, 1.2 BPG on 53/42/74 shooting splits in 29 minutes per game.

Identity/Role: Versatile defender. Rim protector/rim runner. Dynamic athlete.

Tyler Bey is a freakish athlete that plays excellent team-defense and makes weakside rotations to protect the rim at a high rate. He is your typical wing that is low maintenance, understands his role, and plays to his strengths.

He may have some limited upside, but if he can shoot the three efficiently with more volume (he didn’t attempt a ton of three at Colorado) then that could be his “swing” skill that elevates him into a top 10-15 player in this class.

Even if he never winds up being a plus shooter, he’ll still add value with his athleticism, defensive instincts, and ability to make impactful plays on both ends.

If Phoenix trades back in the first round, he could be a nice fit off the bench, adding some much needed athleticism and versatility to the Suns’ forward rotation.

6. Precious Achiuwa, F/C, Memphis.

6’9”, 225 lbs., 20 years old.

15.8 PPG, 10.8 RPG, 1.0 APG, 1.1 SPG, 1.9 BPG on 49/32/59 shooting splits in 30.4 minutes per game.

Identity/Role: Athletic rim runner. High-motor rebounder.

Precious’s ultimate success or failure in this league is likely going to be very team dependent. He possesses the physical tools and talent to succeed, but his lack of feel for the game is troublesome and he doesn’t quite have a clear defined role just yet.

Personally, I would love to see him used as a “small-ball” center wherever he lands in order to optimize his skill-set. Achiuwa feels more like a Ryan McDonough prospect rather than a James Jones one, so I’m not sure I see nor like this fit.

2nd round targets:

  • Yves Pons, F, Tennesse.
  • Malik Fitts, F, St. Mary’s.
  • Trayce Jackson-Davis, F, Indiana.
  • Mamadi Diakite, F, Virginia.
  • Kessler Edwards, F, Pepperdine.
  • Amar Sylla, F, Senegal.
  • Deandre Williams, F, Evansville.

Scouting Reports:

Obi Topping Scouting Report

Patrick Williams Scouting Report

Tyler Bey Scouting Report

Precious Achiuwa Scouting Report

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