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Phoenix Suns

Updated Jun 27, 2014 - 9:56 pm

Phoenix Suns ‘keep getting better' with draft picks T.J. Warren, Tyler Ennis

Phoenix Suns first round draft picks Tyler Ennis, and T.J. Warren, left, hold their jerseys after being introduced by the NBA basketball team, Friday, June 27, 2014, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Matt York)

PHOENIX -- It started a year ago with the drafting of center Alex Len and guard Archie Goodwin.

It's now continued with the additions of small forward TJ Warren and point guard Tyler Ennis.

The Phoenix Suns, in GM Ryan McDonough's vision, are laying the foundation for what they hope will be sustained success in the ever-competitive Western Conference.

"I certainly feel like we're off to a good start," McDonough said, referring to a 23-win improvement from last season and a talent upgrade up-and-down the roster. "We're headed in the right direction, but at the same time, there's still a lot of work to do. That's one of the things we really liked about these two guys is we know their willing to put in the work."

These two guys would be the aforementioned Warren and Ennis, the Suns first-round picks selected 14th and 18th overall, respectively, in the 2014 NBA Draft.

Both were formally introduced on Friday.

How much of an impact either will have in the upcoming season will become clearer following summer league and training camp.

"I can see them playing sooner rather than later, but obviously none of that's predetermined. We feel very good about the team that we're bringing back and hope to potentially add to in free agency, so nothing is going to be given," said McDonough, who just completed his second draft in one full calendar year. "I feel like over the last year or so we've really gotten deeper and more talented. There'll be some good positional battles, I think, in training camp. But those guys certainly have the ability as long as they're willing to keep working, which I think they are, and keep improving that, yeah, I don't see why they couldn't earn minutes at some point during their rookie years."

Playing time was scarce during Len's and Goodwin's first year.

Len was never 100 percent healthy until late as he dealt with a sore left ankle that had been operated on prior to the draft. Goodwin, meanwhile, found court time scarce given the resurgence of Gerald Green and steady play of Ish Smith.

Neither Len nor Goodwin, however, lacked in commitment. They were two of the hardest working individuals on the roster, traits McDonough sees in his two newcomers, Warren, 20, and Ennis, 19.

"We feel like these guys fit right in with our current group," McDonough said, noting it's not unusual to see eight to 10 Suns players working out in the gym this late in June. "We feel like these guys have a chance to be pretty good players now and really good players in the future.

"So, we're happy about where we're headed, but at the same time, we feel like we're not there yet and we need to keep getting better."

About the Author

School: Syracuse University, '96

When you started with Bonneville Phoenix: December 1, 1999

Favorite sports memory: Game 7, 2001 World Series

Least-favorite sports memory: Game 1, 1988 World Series

Favorite all-time athlete(s): Larry Bird, Don Mattingly

Favorite sports movies: Hoosiers, Field of Dreams


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