2013 NBA Draft – #5: Alex Len
The Phoenix Suns selected Alex Len with the fifth pick in 2013 NBA Draft.
Len is a 20-year-old, 7’1, 255 lbs. sophomore center out of Maryland. Born in the Ukraine, Len averaged 11.9 points and 7.8 rebounds a game for the Terrapins.
“I’m so excited, I’m so honored to be here,” said Len on the ESPN broadcast. “Beyond words. I’m really excited to go to Phoenix. It’s a great city, great team. A lot of young players. Just can’t wait to get to work and help the team win. I think we’re going to be good, and I met a couple of guys. I know Marcin Gortat and I can’t wait to get there and just help the team win.”
Phoenix chose Len over Kentucky’s Nerlens Noel, who was projected by many to go first overall.
“It was crazy,” Len said. “The process ‑‑ the NBA Draft is really unpredictable. So it was crazy. But I’m trying to just enjoy it. Two years, I had no idea I was going to be here at this point. But I work hard, and the hard work paid off.”
Phoenix has been searching for a center, ready to move on from Marcin Gortat who is going into the final year of his contract. Gortat could stay while Len develops, or the Suns may look to move him and push Len right into the starting lineup.
Phoenix is going through the rebuilding process after finishing the season in last place in the Western Conference at 25-57.
The franchise recently hired Jeff Hornacek to be their head coach, his first opportunity to run a team.
Phoenix also has the 30th pick, by virtue of their trade with the Los Angeles Lakers in return for Steve Nash. By making the playoffs, the Lakers pick went to the Cleveland Cavaliers in return for the Miami HEAT picks — which was then conveyed to the Suns.
“I’m excited to play against Tim Duncan and Kevin Garnett,” said Len. “I’ve been watching them since I was young.”