Updated Jun 27, 2013 - 11:42 pm
Maryland's Alex Len anxious to get to work with Phoenix Suns
That seems to be the one word that gets associated with Maryland center Alex Len over and over again.
That potential is now property of the Phoenix Suns.
Len, who was the highest-rated player on the team's draft board, fell to number five where the Suns chose him over Kentucky's Nerlens Noel and Kansas shooting guard Ben McLemore.
Len, who visited Phoenix June 5, said he knew he was close to the top of the Suns' player rankings.
"When I was there, they told me," Len said via conference call from Brooklyn. "I'm really excited, I love the Suns so I'm excited to go there and I can't wait to start to work."
There was no hint of disappointment in Len's voice despite the fact that many experts had him pegged as the number one player in the draft.
"I had no idea, I don't really pay attention to that kind of stuff," he said. "I have no control of who selects me, so I'm just trying to be proactive with my rehab and just work hard and get better."
That rehab is the result of Len undergoing ankle surgery in May for a partial stress fracture -- an injury that may have gone undiagnosed, or at least incorrectly diagnosed during his sophomore season at Maryland.
"In August, I'll be able to do stuff on the court and the doctors tell me I'll be cleared to play in October, so I'll be fine to play in training camp."
Len averaged 11.9 points and 7.8 rebounds for a Maryland team that went 25-13 last season. The numbers weren't earth-shattering, which brings us back to that potential. Len believes his game is better-suited to the pro level.
"I think that the NBA has the best coaches, I can't wait to start working with them," the 20-year-old said. "And it's also better spacing -- I'm going to have more room to work on the block in the post.
"I'm also excited to play with Goran Dragic, he is a great player and has great vision on the floor and he likes to play at a high tempo so I think that fits my game well."
Len came to Maryland from the Ukraine, where the annual average temperature is only 46 degrees. So how does the Suns' newest player feel about coming to the Valley, where the temperatures will exceed 115 degrees when he arrives in town Friday?
"I like the sun, so I'm happy to go there."
Hope you like it a lot, Alex.
Vince Marotta, Co-host - Bickley & Marotta, Web Content Editor - ArizonaSports.com
- McDonough: Len's Maryland teammates held him back
- Babby: Alex Len was Ryan McDonough's choice
- Alex Len 2013 NBA Draft Scouting Report
- Burns: Wanted McLemore but will give Suns a chance
- Green: Len an underwhelming pick
- Suns GM : 'When Alex was there, decision was clear'
- Alex Len anxious to get to work with Suns
- Hornacek, Suns thrilled to get Alex Len
- Len's girlfriend records video from draft room
- Alex Len 2012-2013 highlights
- Reaction to Suns' selection of Alex Len
- Suns Draft Candidate: Alex Len
- Suns select C Alex Len
- Suns relationship with Bledsoe described as headed towards ruined
- The Pulse: Fans say Suns need to negotiate smaller contract with Eric Bledsoe
- Report: Phoenix Suns' P.J. Tucker arrested in Scottsdale in May for extreme DUI
- ESPN Insider: Goran Dragic is a max-contract candidate after next season
- Eric Bledsoe: 'I can understand the Suns are using restricted free agency against me'
- Chris Sheridan - Tuesday July 22Chris Sheridan weighs in on if Kevin Love will join LeBron in Cleveland.
- Ryan McDonough, Phoenix Suns general manager - Monday July 21General manager Ryan McDonough talks about the Phoenix Suns' offseason plans.
- Isaiah Thomas, Phoenix Suns point guard - Monday July 21Isaiah Thomas talks about his skill set and what he brings to the franchise.
- Marc Spears, Yahoo NBA writer - Friday July 18Yahoo NBA writer Marc Spears says the Warriors are backing out from a Kevin Love trade.
- Paul Coro, AZCentral Sports Suns beat writer - Thursday July 17AZCentral Sports Suns beat writer Paul Coro talks about the continuing free agency of Eric Bledsoe.