PHOENIX — The plan, according to general manager Ryan McDonough, is to build through the draft.
The execution of said plan started with the NBA Draft Combine last month and continued Monday with the team’s first pre-draft workout at US Airways Center.
Six players were brought in: guards Vander Blue (Marquette) and Durand Scott (Miami), small forwards Ryan Evans (Wisconsin) and Scott Wood (North Carolina State) along with power forwards Grant Jerrett (Arizona) and Kenny Kadji (Miami).
“I thought Vander Blue from Marquette, his athleticism stood out,” McDonough said. “Kenny Kadji shot the ball well. We had Scott Wood from NC State, is one of the better shooters in the country. Ryan Evans from Wisconsin is a versatile inside-outside player. He’s strong.
“It was a good group of guys who bring different skill sets.”
McDonough said teams are limited to six players per workout, which sees both individual and team drills through two-on-two and three-on-three play.
“I think it’s pretty valuable,” McDonough said of the pre-draft workouts. “To get to see these guys, some of the best college players in the country, get to see them go against other top guys at their position and get to see kind of how their game has held up since the college season ended and what they’ve been working on. You get to see if they’ve added anything to their game; and also get to push them a little bit and maybe test some of their weaknesses and see how they respond to that testing.
“You’re testing them on the court, but also we test them physically,” McDonough continued. “We have them meet with our medical people if needed. We interview them. We spend some time with them, so it’s a pretty thorough process.”
Head coach Jeff Hornacek, celebrating his first week on the job, ran the workout.
“The one thing I saw was a lot of guys who are willing to compete. And that’s step one,” he said. “A lot of guys may come in thinking, yeah, they know they’re fighting for jobs, but to lay it out there -— we had some guys crashing to the floor and diving on balls. That’s the hustle and the type of effort that we’re looking for.”
The Suns next scheduled draft workout is Wednesday.