After crisscrossing the country for the last several weeks, Carrick Felix returned home Saturday.
The former ASU Sun Devil worked out for the Suns with a group of perimeter players that included Reggie Bullock (North Carolina), Elias Harris (Gonzaga), Solomon Hill (UA), James Southerland (Syracuse) and Brandon Triche (Syracuse).
“It’s been long. It’s been tiring. But it’s been fun at the same time,” Felix said after what was his 18th pre-draft workout. “Given this opportunity that I’ve been given, not a lot of people have that chance to come out here and work out. It’s a blessing.”
Felix, who was second in scoring (14.6 ppg) and first in rebounding (8.1 ppg) his senior year at ASU, caught the eye of the Suns’ brass in attendance.
“I think he might’ve set the record actually in the conditioning run at the end of the workout. He was flying,” Suns’ GM Ryan McDonough said. “That was really impressive.”
For Felix, it was nothing he hadn’t done before.
“My teammates at ASU always used to call me a gazelle,” he said. “Running is just my thing.”
Felix hopes his thing and overall athletic ability earns him an NBA roster spot.
“I’m going to go out there compete, play hard, play defense and just do the small things,” the former Goodyear Millennium High School standout said. “I’m going to knock down open shots, but offensively, that’s something that I do have to work at. I’m going to continue to just get better at.”
While his rebounding average more than doubled from his junior season, Felix’s shooting also improved his final year, hitting 50 percent of his attempts, including 37.4 percent from three-point range.
“(He) shot the ball pretty well,” McDonough said of Felix’s workout. “I think that’s the thing that’s improved probably the most over the course of his career is the shooting ability. You combine that with a guy with some decent size who can defend his position and plays hard and is a tough kid, then you have a pretty good player.”
With the draft now less than a week away, Felix is unsure when his name might be called.
“Pretty much anywhere in the second round, maybe late first,” he said. “It’s pretty much just up in the air. There’s a lot of draft boards out there. Some have me on there. Some don’t have me on there, but at the end of the day draft boards don’t have a say in anything.
“I feel good about this whole process and what I’ve been doing,” he continued. “It’s just up to the teams, the GMs, the coaches to make that decision.”
His stay in Phoenix was a brief one. He had one more workout scheduled.
“It’s been a long road, just on the planes, in and out of seats, in and out of hotel beds,” Felix said. “Hopefully it’ll be worth it at the end.”