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Suns’ Babby: Archie Goodwin has ‘a unique talent’

LISTEN: Lon Babby, Suns President of Operations

Not much good came out of the Phoenix Suns’ 109-86 loss to the Utah Jazz Wednesday night, but if you wanted to find a sliver lining, Archie Goodwin is there for you.

The rookie guard out of Kentucky played a season-high 27 minutes and responded with 16 points, seven rebounds, two steals, one assist and one blocked shot.

He made 6-of-10 field goal attempts, including 1-of-2 from three-point range.

It’s one game, sure, but seeing something an effort like that certainly makes the Suns excited about his future.

“It’s a great piece of evaluation by Ryan and our scouts,” Suns president of basketball operations Lon Babby told the Dan Bickley Show with Vince Marotta Thursday on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM. “He’s got a unique talent; we saw it last night. He’s got an innate ability to get to the rim.

“And that’s a special talent.”

Goodwin, who showed his athleticism during an impressive second-quarter dunk, got to the free throw line for seven attempts, too. He only made three, though, a sign that there is still plenty about his game that could use refinement. The 6-foot-5 guard played just one year at Kentucky, where he averaged 14.1 points, 4.6 rebounds, 2.7 assists and 1.1 steals per game.

“I think he’s got a lot to learn, obviously, but he’s 19 years old and he’s got some things that you can’t teach,” Babby explained. “It’s always good to see him hit a three — I know he’s been working hard on his shot.”

Babby added that Goodwin was put in a tough spot Wednesday being asked to play point guard, which was a necessity for the team with Eric Bledsoe still out and Goran Dragic missing the game due to an ankle injury. Goodwin finished with just the lone assist, but that isn’t necessarily indicative of how well he played the position.

“I talked to Jeff about it this morning and he said Archie knows all the plays and knows what to run and did a nice job under difficult circumstances,” Babby said.

Goodwin has appeared in just 40 games this season, averaging 11.1 minutes per contest.