PHOENIX — For the record, the Suns do not have a west coast bias or a bias towards west coast players. It just appeared that way with four of the six draft hopefuls in Monday’s pre-draft workout hailing from the Pac-12.
Conference tournament champion UCLA was well represented with sophomore point guard/small forward Kyle Anderson and senior power forward Travis Wear. They were joined by Cal senior point guard Justin Cobbs and Oregon junior power forward Mike Moser.
“It felt like a Pac-12 All-Star game today,” GM Ryan McDonough said. “There were a lot of good players here. That wasn’t something we planned. Just who we bring in and when we bring them in depends on the players’ schedules and the matchups, but it was a good group, veteran group for the most part.”
Anderson, 20, the youngest of the group, was the one player projected to hear his named called in the first round, where the Suns hold draft picks 14, 18 and 27.
At UCLA, Anderson did it all, finishing his second season as the Pac-12’s only player to rank in the conference’s top five in assists (6.5, first), rebounds (8.8, third) and steals (1.8, third), while also scoring almost 15 points per game; his 14.6 average ranked 13th-best.
The question surrounding Anderson, listed at 6-foot-8 and 230 pounds, is his position at the NBA level. He played predominantly point guard in college.
“I think he’s a basketball player,” McDonough said. “He’s extremely skilled at that size. He’s very long. He has a unique passing ability and feel for the game that sets him apart. He also rebounds very well, especially for a perimeter guy. He is a unique package.”
McDonough also mentioned Anderson’s high release point on his jump shot, calling it “difficult to guard.” He made 48.3 percent of his three-pointers after having shot just 21.1 percent from deep as a freshman.
Anderson made a quick exit following the workout, needing to catch a flight and was therefore unavailable to the media.
“What we wanted to see is the speed of him getting up-and-down the court,” head coach Jeff Hornacek said. “Can he play the 1? If he’s going to play the ‘1′ spot and you have some little quick guy that guards him, can he get up the court? We saw some of that today. He knows how to hesitate and use head fakes and that kind of stuff to get the ball up the court. He’s an intriguing player because of that size.”
The workout, the Suns’ 10th, also included Syracuse senior small forward C.J. Fair and Ohio State junior small forward LaQuinton Ross.
The 6-foot-8 Fair, a second team All-American, led Syracuse in scoring (16.5), was second in rebounds (6.4) and third in steals (1.3). He has been linked to the Suns’ second-round pick, No. 50 overall.
“The Suns are a run-and-gun team. I like to play in transition and I play at a high pace,” he said. “If I land with the Suns, I would be honored.”