As we wrap up NBA Draft Combine week from Chicago, IL, it’s time to reflect on which prospects would make the best future Phoenix Suns.
For those just catching up, the Suns don’t have a pick in this draft; if it stays that way, it will be just the second time in franchise history. General manager James Jones, however, has made it clear that they’ll explore all options over the next month before the draft, including trading back into it.
So, I’ll give four prospects who stood out to me at the Combine, grouped into two categories: “trade back in” guys, and likely undrafted candidates. I’ll be sure to include their measurements, some notes, and their best moments as well, for your convenience.
“Trade back in”
Andrew Nembhard — senior guard, Gonzaga
6-foot-4.5, 195.6 pounds, 6-foot-5.75 wingspan, 8-foot-3 standing reach
- 2nd in lane agility — 10.46 seconds
- 4th among guards in shuttle run — 3.02 seconds
- 26 points (10-18) and 11 assists (2 turnovers) in only scrimmage of the week
- met with Suns in Chicago
- has already played well at the Footprint Center during the Colangelo Classic in December; I was there and was very impressed.
Loved breaking it down with former Gonzaga PG Andrew Nembhard after his 26-point, 11-assist signature performance in Chicago. Nembhard reminded NBA scouts and execs exactly why he was one of the best PGs in the country last season. Elite feel, poise and maturity. pic.twitter.com/uShrOSCx63— Mike Schmitz (@Mike_Schmitz) May 21, 2022
Terquavion Smith — freshman guard, NC State
6-foot-3.75, 165.2 pounds, 6-foot-6.5 wingspan, 8-foot-2 standing reach
- 4th in lane agility — 10.63 seconds
- 18-25 (78%) in three-point star drill, best of the combine
- 17 points, 6 rebounds, and 2 assists in only scrimmage
Strong NBA Combine outing from freshman Terquavion Smith with 17 points. Made some nice reads off a live dribble and showed his bucket-getting ability in a variety of ways. Clearly one of the most talented players here. pic.twitter.com/wCirw8ymOD— Jonathan Givony (@DraftExpress) May 19, 2022
Likely available undrafted
Scotty Pippen Jr. — junior guard, Vanderbilt
6-foot-1.5, 180 pounds, 6-foot-5.75, 7-foot-11.5 standing reach
- 11 points and 6 assists (1 turnover) in first scrimmage
- 21 points (8-18), 3 assists, 2 steals, and 1 block in second scrimmage
Vanderbilt's Scotty Pippen Jr did a nice job of pressuring the ball, getting in passing lanes with his 6'6 wingspan, and making intelligent PNR reads off a live dribble in the opening game of the NBA Combine, finishing with 11 points, 6 assists and 2 steals in 19 minutes. pic.twitter.com/AszPAkGBws— Jonathan Givony (@DraftExpress) May 20, 2022
John Butler Jr. — freshman wing, Florida State
7-foot-0.75, 174.4 pounds, 7-foot-2.25 wingspan, 9-foot-4 standing reach
- 4th in standing reach (9-foot-4)
- 3rd in height without shoes (6-foot-11.75)
- 3rd among non-centers in wingspan (7-foot-2.25)
- 6 points (2-5 3P), 2 steals, and 3 blocks in first scrimmage
- 16 points (3-8 3P), 3 steals, and 3 blocks in second scrimmage
Florida State’s John Butler Jr. is one of the most unique prospects participating in the NBA Draft Combine.— Jon Chepkevich (@JonChep) May 19, 2022
The freshman sniper measured in at 7’0 ¾” and just 174.4 lbs.
Worked out w/ the guard group alongside Buddy Boeheim and Will Richardson at the Roc Nation Sports pro day. pic.twitter.com/s1BCXDcMNA
While Nembhard is my favorite of the bunch (and I truly believe he can be the starting point guard of the future after learning under Paul in his twilight years), all four are intriguing to me.
Which of the four is your favorite?