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Len pick shows Suns don’t care about sizzle
Posted By HOOPSWORLD On June 28, 2013 @ 11:58 pm In Wirenews | Comments Disabled
by Dan Bickley, USA TODAY Sports
A new era begins with a second guess. Ryan McDonough and his Phoenix Suns staff must not believe in honeymoons.
The new general manager wielded the franchise’s first top-five pick in 26 years. He was gifted with a draft board that crumbled before his eyes, playing right into McDonough’s hands.
Then he selected Maryland’s Alex Len. No sizzle, no oomph, no star power. And the decision was unanimous.
“A no-brainer for us,” new Suns coach Jeff Hornacek said.
You can make an argument that Len was a better choice than Nerlens Noel, the 6-11 center from Kentucky who blew out his knee late last season. Len is bigger, can protect the rim nearly as well and has tangible offensive skills.
Problem is, Len wasn’t good enough to make Maryland a decent team. By contrast, Kentucky fell apart when it lost Noel, whose drive and will to win are off the charts by most reports. And Noel’s knee doesn’t seem so risky when placed in the hands of the Suns’ vaunted medical staff.
But the biggest regret might be passing on Kansas star Ben McLemore, who was the highest-ceiling player in the draft. McLemore is a fabulous shooter. He can create his own shot. He could’ve been the go-to scorer the Suns sorely need.
Noel and McLemore were drafted in the two slots immediately following the Suns’ pick. And according to The Sacramento Bee, this is what Kings owner Vivek Ranadive said to his fan base immediately after: “He was our Number 1 choice. And we were frantically in the war room trying to trade up to the Number 2, 3, 4 slot. We were willing to pay a lot of money to get Ben and we got him at 7.
“As I said before, seven is my lucky number. When I was with the (Golden State) Warriors, we got (Stephen) Curry and (Harrison) Barnes at 7. My birthday is on the seventh. The mayor (former Suns All-Star Kevin Johnson) was picked seventh. He wore No. 7. And we got the best player in the (draft) at 7.”
Meanwhile, analyst and former Suns star Rex Chapman said McLemore was the … [For more on Alex Len pick shows new Suns don't care about sizzle, click here.]
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