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Suns go small, hold all-guard pre-draft workout

Perimeter scoring.

That would appear to be the biggest need facing the Phoenix Suns this summer.

“We do need some depth there,” GM Ryan McDonough said. “That was kind of a weakness for us last year.”

Tuesday’s pre-draft workout at US Airways Center focused on the guard position — specifically shooting guard — with five of the six players visiting primarily scorers.

The one true point guard was Iowa State’s Korie Lucious, who is staying in Phoenix and worked out for the third time for Suns brass.

“We might retire his jersey after today,” McDonough joked. “On his own volition he did the conditioning run at the end again even though he’d already done it, I think, once or twice before. It’s great to have guys like that. That obviously makes a good impression when the guy says, ‘Hey, whatever you need, let me know and I’ll come in and workout.'”

With no big on the floor, the six guards concentrated on shooting, where the Suns ranked 23rd in the league last season.

“I kind of liked it more. It was a quicker pace,” Texas A&M’s Elston Turner, Jr. said of the all-guard workout that involved Florida Gulf Coast’s Sherwood Brown, Belmont’s Ian Clark, Oklahoma’s Steven Pledger and Florida State’s Michael Snaer.

“We all just competed,” Turner continued, “3-on-3, 2-on-2 and did a little bit of 1-on-1 as well. It was a great workout. I feel like I played pretty well.”

Turner, the son of former Suns assistant Elston Turner, led his team and was third in the SEC averaging 17.5 points per game, which included a 40-point performance in a win at Kentucky in January.

“My strength is the ability to shoot and score offensively,” he said.

Shooting the three is another area where McDonough wants to see improvement.

New head coach Jeff Hornacek wants to be able to spread the floor and effectively use that shot, which historically has been a nice offensive weapon for the Suns. The team, though, has lost touch with the three-point shot with percentages declining in each of the past three seasons, including a 33-percent clip this season — the third-worst mark in the league.

Clark, a four-time All-Conference selection and two-time conference Defensive Player of the Year, finished third in the nation in three-point percentage (.459) and 11th in threes per game (3.1).

Snaer, who scored in double figures in 26 of 33 games played, ranks fifth in school history in three-point field goals made.

“Guys are seeing that I’m much more explosive or athletic and can handle the ball,” he said. “I can do a lot more different things than what my system at school allowed me to show. These workouts have really helped me.”