PHOENIX — Having made his mark as a talent evaluator, Ryan McDonough enjoys the pre-draft process more than most.
And with four picks in the top 50, including three first-round selections (Nos. 14, 18 and 27) in the 2014 NBA Draft, the Suns second-year general manager has a number of different options available to him and his staff with which to try to improve upon last season’s 48-win team.
“I’d like to have all 30 (draft picks) if we could. I haven’t found a way to do it,” McDonough joked. “The good thing about our picks is the flexibility. We feel like we can get anywhere in the draft (via trade) except for probably the high, high end of the lottery.”
Yeah, landing one of those top three selections held by Cleveland, Milwaukee and Philadelphia is unlikely. But owning multiple picks in a draft considered to be one of the deepest in years may be just as good.
“I’d say other than the center spot, 1-thru-4 there’s good depth at all those positions,” McDonough said of this year’s draft class. “There’s good high-end talent and there’s also good depth throughout, where you can get, I think there’ll be some good players that come out in the late first, early second round range. I think you’ll be able to find players there, at least given our initial projections where guys are going to go, it is a very strong year, especially compared to last year’s draft.”
On Tuesday, the Suns held their first workout with Michigan State point guard Keith Appling, Wisconsin-Green Bay power forward Alec Brown, Nevada point guard Deonte Burton, center Artem Klimenko out of Russia, St. John’s small forward JaKarr Sampson and Marquette small forward Jamil Wilson.
The six are all projected second-round prospects.
“I don’t like to single out individual players. These guys are out here working their butts off,” McDonough said. “They all had their moments. Nobody dominated the workout or anything like that. But it was a productive first workout for us overall.”
The Suns are expected to hold pre-draft workouts each day this week and throughout the remaining five weeks until the June 26 draft.
“You hope the workouts do confirm what your eyes have told you all year,” McDonough said.