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The Ringer: Suns fill hole, draft Collin Sexton in mock

Alabama guard Collin Sexton (2) drives to the basket against Minnesota center Reggie Lynch (22) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game, Saturday, Nov. 25, 2017, in New York. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

The Phoenix Suns aren’t currently low enough in the standings to draft top prospects like Trae Young, Deandre Ayton or Mohamed Bamba, but in The Ringer‘s second NBA mock draft, Jonathan Tjarks still has Phoenix filling a hole on the roster by picking Alabama point guard Collin Sexton ninth.

The Suns need a point guard of the future after their messy divorce with Eric Bledsoe, and Tyler Ulis isn’t that guy. Sexton was more highly regarded than Young in high school, and he’s had a strong freshman season in his own right at Alabama.

Sexton is arguably known best from his 40-point performance against Minnesota where Alabama only had three players left after the entire bench was ejected, Dazon Ingram fouled out and John Petty rolled his ankle.

The Crimson Tide should have never stood a chance against the Gophers after that but Sexton nearly drove his team back in the final 10 minutes to pull off an amazing win.

Even though that career high 40 points came in an obscure way, Sexton has shown throughout the season that he can consistently perform at a high level. The Alabama point guard is averaging 19.5 points a game and has only scored less than 10 points three times.

Sexton is an extremely athletic guard who lives at the rim at the college level and is currently shooting (38.5) percent from 3; he could develop into a high-level two-way floor general.

Tjarks says an issue for the Suns could be fans not willing to wait much longer for the team to have a successful season.

The bigger issue for the Suns is whether their fans have the patience to wait for a 19-year-old point guard to acclimate himself to the NBA level. This is a team that may seek to trade out of the lottery to accelerate a rebuilding process that has been stuck in neutral, if not in reverse.

However, since the Suns decided they weren’t willing to trade their No. 4 pick in last year’s draft for a package that would send Cavaliers guard Kyrie Irving to Phoenix, it seems the team is committed to “The Timeline” process.

The team may fall off later in the long season as it loses more games or decides to rest players as it did last season in order to have a chance at drafting one of the top players like Tempe native Marvin Bagley III.

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