While we won’t know the impact from the Phoenix Suns’ 2014 draft class for at least a few years, that won’t stop people from handing out grades now.
The Suns selected NC State small forward T.J. Warren with the No. 14 pick, Syracuse point guard Tyler Ennis with the 18th pick and Serbian shooting guard Bogdan Bogdanovic with the 27th selection. The team also drafted Wisconsin-Green Bay power forward/center Alec Brown in the second round at No. 50.
The consensus from national analysts is that the Suns earned either a B or B+ for their efforts.
Here is a compilation of those grades:
ESPN’s Chad Ford: B (subscription required)
The Suns addressed three big needs in the draft. They needed a small forward who can score the ball. Warren can do that. He’s an incredible scorer who just has a nose for the hoop. They needed a back-up point guard and Ennis is as steady as they come. They also needed another 2-guard, and while I doubt Bogdanovic comes over right now, he’s a terrific scorer who could play in the NBA someday.
What the Suns didn’t add, and what I think they could use more of, is athleticism. Neither Warren, Ennis nor Bogdanovic are great athletes. All three of these players have the potential to be solid rotation players. Ennis has starter potential someday and Warren’s ceiling may be even higher than that. But I’m not sure what they got here puts them into true contention in the West any time soon.
This was the serviceable draft Suns fans should have been expecting if not exactly hoping for. Warren is a very good scorer, one of the draft’s best, who should fit in well whether or not the Suns bring back P.J. Tucker. Ennis is the backup point guard they so desperately needed last year. Bogdanovic could contribute right away or stay hidden in Europe for a year or two but seems destined to be a very solid rotation wing. And Brown is a shot-blocker who could gain toughness in the NBA Development League. None of the picks were mistakes. None were reaches. All fit needs.
I guess Warren and the Suns are a match made in heaven. Score a lot, don’t play much defense. I just don’t think that’s a winning formula. And Ennis feels like a big reach here, especially when my favorite sleeper point guard — Shabazz Napier — was still on the board.
I’ll admit that I don’t totally understand the draft the Suns just had but I’m fairly intrigued by it. Three times they had a chance to draft Kyle Anderson and they passed on him. Perhaps that was because they felt T.J. Warren was the necessary wing depth they require. He’s a fantastic scorer inside the arc but they’ll need to develop his 3-point shot to fit in with the roster. Tyler Ennis gives them some Eric Bledsoe insurance just in case they change their mind on his restricted free agency. Bogdan Bogdanovic is a great guard option for them to stash away. I’m not big on Alec Brown, but he’s a big body with a chance to make the team or develop in the D-League.
These set of analysts grade the picks by player. CBS analyzed the entire draft, while Yahoo! did the first round. They are ordered by the order the Suns took them in.
CBS Sports’ Matt Moore: B-, C+, B+, C
Warren: A bit of a reach, but if you want a strong, versatile scorer who just knows how to get buckets, Warren is your guy. He’s relentless.
Ennis: Ennis gives them depth. He’s not going to light anything up, but he could be a very solid rotation player, especially in this system.
Bogdanovic: Bogdan will excel in Hornacek’s system whenever he arrives. He also has terrific upside.
Brown: Typical stretch four. He needs to work on how to use his size.
Yahoo! Sports’ Marc Spears: C+, C, C
Warren: Warren isn’t a great long-range shooter and he’s just an average defender, but the crafty 6-foot-8 forward should remain a formidable scorer at the NBA level because of his mid-range game and ability to score in the paint.
Ennis: No point guard prospect displayed more control or composure this past season than Ennis, who excelled as a freshman… The question facing Ennis is whether he’s quick and athletic enough to thrive at a position that also includes the likes of Chris Paul, Russell Westbrook and Derrick Rose. Ennis will have to prove he can get past and guard NBA point guards.
Bogdanovic: With a 6-foot-11 wingspan, Bogdanovic has excellent size for an NBA guard. His No. 1 asset is his perimeter shooting, though his shot selection can be maddening. He has good instincts defensively and his length allows him to get into the passing lanes and force turnovers. Bogdanovic has shown potential as a slasher and playmaker, suggesting he can handle some ball-handling duties down the road if he can improve his decision making and cut down his turnovers.