Maybe it was due to the main focus being on Phoenix Suns second-year forward Jalen Smith and (to a lesser degree) guard Ty-Shon Alexander. It could also have been the confusion with there being a Jaleen Smith too. Sharing the same last name as another player (which threw off the commentators) didn’t help either.
Whatever it was, Kyle Alexander did not get the credit he deserved for the outing he had in Las Vegas for the Summer Suns.
Overall, he made 22 of his 39 field goal attempts (56%) and all 12 of his free throws while grabbing 25 offensive rebounds (5.0 per game). He was a +20 (second to Jalen Smith’s +22) despite the team being only a +5.
But if you look past the first two games (6 points, 6 rebounds followed by a 1-for-8 night), he was fairly impressive.
In the final three matches he made 18 of his 26 shots (69%), posting 15.7 points, 10.3 rebounds and 2.0 blocks in 23.7 minutes per game. Despite foul trouble (4.3 per game), he made an impact.
The 24-year-old was born in Ontario, Canada and stands at 6-foot-11 with a 7-foot-5 wingspan and 9-foot-2 standing reach. Yes, he has a slight frame (220 pounds), but he oozes athleticism and is extremely mobile and quick. This allows him to be a threat on defense against guards on the perimeter while being really good at protecting the rim and blocking shots.
Defense is his calling right now but he’s improved on offense. He’s a very good screen-setter, knows his way around the pick and roll and has a strong mid-range game. Kyle has worked on his court awareness but still needs to be more aggressive and confident while staying out of foul trouble. That can be coached and Monty Williams is a great coach.
Prior to being on the Summer Suns, Alexander has traveled on a windy road after going undrafted. He played in the summer league for Miami, got signed to a training camp contract and then signed a two-way contract with the Heat. After recovery from a knee injury, he made his NBA debut (very brief) and when that two-way ended, he went overseas to the Spanish Liga ACB.
The Suns should give him a chance at least through training camp with an opportunity to make the roster. If it doesn’t work out with Phoenix, though, some team should roll the dice. He truly represents work ethic and culture and has the potential to be a prototype of today’s NBA big man.