Jeff Hornacek’s second year as the head coach of the Phoenix Suns was disappointing, as an injury-riddle Suns team couldn’t do anything down the stretch when trying to make their final push towards a playoff spot. Their three-guard attack fell apart when Goran Dragic was traded to the Miami Heat, a deal that brought Phoenix a new guard in Brandon Knight, who came from Milwaukee, along with future draft picks. When Knight and big man Alex Len missed extensive time due to injury, the Suns didn’t have enough ammo to keep up in the unforgiving Western Conference, especially after trading away another one of their top guards, Isaiah Thomas, to Boston.
Heading into 2015-16, the Suns are set in the backcourt with the duo of Knight and Eric Bledsoe, while also having fine depth in that area with Archie Goodwin and Reggie Bullock. The Morris twins, Markieff and Marcus, along with Len, comprise the frontcourt, but could use more depth there. As a result, Phoenix will look to attack the No. 13 overall pick by going after an offensively minded forward/center to platoon with Len.
All NBA Drafts are important for the future of the franchise, and this year’s is no different. Die-hard Suns fans can get to the Barclays Center on June 25 by using Hipmunk.com for Brooklyn flights or even reserving hotels in Brooklyn, starting from just $42, to create an NBA Draft getaway vacation. Affordable tickets to the NBA Draft can be found on TiqIQ.com, where the average price (as of 6/16) is $94.91, with a get-in price of $38.
So, which offensively-minded forwards are the Suns targeting with pick No. 13?
Myles Turner | Texas | Center | Freshman | 6’11”, 240 lbs.
Turner may not be the immediate fix fans usually look for when entering an NBA Draft but he has the projection of being a productive NBA center. Turner can play defense (he averaged 2.6 blocks in 22.2 minutes) and rebound like the traditional center, but relies more on stretching the floor on the offensive end, which would make him very useful in today’s game. In a guard-oriented NBA, Turner can turn into a reliable piece for any club with his touch from the outside to go along with his skill set.
Trey Lyles | Kentucky | Forward | Freshman | 6’10”, 235 lbs.
This is where the more immediate impact forward can be drafted. Lyles was a factor on a stacked Kentucky team and made his mark with his basketball IQ and mid-range shooting touch. The skill-level is already there, being able to attack off the dribble when contested by a larger center, and he has exhibited the ability to operate in the post as well. The quickness and jumping ability do not compare to other players being drafted in this area, but Lyles can carve out a spot on an NBA roster right away with his playing style.
Bobby Portis | Arkansas | Forward | Sophomore | 6’11”, 240 lbs.
Although all the attention on Kentucky during the NCAA season was well-deserved, it may have got lost in the shuffle that Portis took home SEC Player of the Year honors while playing at Arkansas. Per reports, he just knows where to be when in transition, both offensively and defensively, making his best quality just his feel for the game, which is a component that sometimes is underrated when evaluating young players. He translates well to a stretch-four and is someone who can be relied upon defensively to guard multiple positions. He will be one of the best competitors that come out of the draft.
This is a sponsored post by TiqIQ.