I’ve been working my hardest to try and make sense of the Phoenix Suns’ approach to this draft season, and the best way to describe it thus far is “doing their due diligence”.
Suns have been present for pro days of high profile prospects, even though, as we’ll continue to remind you, the team currently does not have a single pick in this draft; if that remains true, it will be the second time in franchise history that the team didn’t make a selection.
Phoenix was represented in some capacity for at least two agencies’ pro days: BDA, where they saw Ohio State forward EJ Liddell, whom they met with at the combine, as well as CAA, for prospects like Notre Dame guard Blake Wesley and Auburn big Walker Kessler (it feels worth noting that CAA is the agency that reps Devin Booker as well).
All three of Liddell, Wesley, and Kessler could go as high as 20, from what I can gather. On my board, they rank 39th, 23rd, and 37th respectively.
As the June 1st deadline for NCAA prospects to withdraw looms and we start moving into private workout season, the Suns are active here as well:
over his last seven games of his sophomore season for bama, keon had at least two steals in each game and averaged 15.9 points (45.7% on 6.6 3pa) https://t.co/I3GbJH89uO— damon allred (@iamdamonallred) May 29, 2022
The 6-5 Ellis is more than capable of getting hot from downtown; one example that stands out came in a game on the road at Rupp Arena against #4 Kentucky where Ellis started off 5-5 from three in the first half alone.
He may remind Suns fans of early Mikal Bridges, who was more 3-and-D oriented, or even Ellis’s former Alabama teammate — and nemesis of Suns fans — Herb Jones, though Ellis lacks significant size compared to those two.
keon ellis’s instagram story on sunday: pic.twitter.com/eIGDPeaNIJ— damon allred (@iamdamonallred) May 30, 2022
Ellis is likely an undrafted candidate, as he ranks 61st on The Athletic’s big board and 64th on ESPN’s board.
I’ll soon plug a few of my scouting reports I’ve been working on for ZonaHoops.com, including one on Ellis that I’m in the process of working on, but Suns fans should be taking this draft very seriously, whether they end up acquiring a pick or not.
You only have to look as far as New Orleans (Jose Alvarado) or Miami (Max Strus and Gabe Vincent) to find examples of undrafted players developing quickly and making an impact on winning basketball.
At the very least, the Suns will be filling out a Summer League roster for the two-week event in July. We can expect Ish Wainright and Iffe Lundberg on the Suns contigent, but who else? A player like Keon Ellis could be a great addition.
More draft content is coming in the forms of updated chatter and a group big board that I’ll be putting together with the help of some friends as we inch closer to the June 23 draft, so be on the lookout!