While the Phoenix Suns dipped their toe in the pre-draft workout waters Monday, they dove in headfirst Wednesday, making a big splash with a group of players who will be under consideration when the team is on the clock with the fifth overall pick.
Guards Ben McLemore (Kansas) and Victor Oladipo (Indiana), forwards Shabazz Muhammad (UCLA) and Cody Zeller (Indiana) plus centers Rudy Gobert (France) and Alex Len (Maryland) were in town with all but Len working out in front of team executives, coaches and scouts.
Len, on crutches and his left foot in a walking boot as he recovers from ankle surgery, may not have been on the court with the rest of the guys but he still showed up to visit and interview with the Suns.
“This was a really talented group,” GM Ryan McDonough said. “We had a bunch of guys in the gym who I think will end up in the lottery. We had good competition at different positions. It was impressive all the way around.”
The players in the initial workout group Monday are all projected mid-to-late second-round prospects.
McDonough called it “a challenge” to get each marquee player into town “but with the fifth pick I think that’s a good range for a lot of the guys who came into the gym today. John Treloar, our director of player personnel, has done a great job working with the agents scheduling these guys. I think a lot of the players see an opportunity here to come in as a rookie and play right away. We’re going to try to get all the top guys and today, I think, was a great step in that direction.”
McLemore, whom many consider a top two or three pick, worked out individually following the group session which also included forwards Jared Berggren of Wisconsin and E.J. Singler of Oregon.
“In the fifth slot, really almost anybody could be there for us,” McDonough said. “There’s not a player or a subset of players that I feel like we can just put aside and not worry about because they’ll definitely go ahead of us in the top four, so that’s why we’re trying to bring them all in and evaluate them all.”