Former Paradise Valley standout Paul Watson calls Suns workout ‘amazing’
PHOENIX — An opportunity of a lifetime presented itself to former Paradise Valley High School standout Paul Watson as he returned to the desert to work out with the Phoenix Suns.
This is the second pre-draft workout the team hosted this week and Watson wanted to make the most of his moment.
“It’s amazing growing up being able to come here,” he said. “Watching the games. See different players come through this organization. It’s amazing just to have this opportunity. I’m truly grateful.”
The Suns worked out five others Wednesday: Dillon Brooks, Laurynas Birutus, Yoan Granvorka, Rodney Pryor and Matt Williams. One of the more familiar names is former Oregon forward Brooks, who was just in Arizona competing in the Final Four.
Watson graduated in 2013 from Paradise Valley, where he led the team to a state championship and was named Most Valuable Player.
He was inspired by the play of former Suns forward Shawn Marion.
“I watched his game all the time. Got his jersey as soon as I got here,” Watson said. “I was a real Matrix fan.”
At Fresno State, Watson started all 33 games as a senior, averaging 11.4 points, 5.2 rebounds and 1.4 assists. During the Final Four, Watson also participated in the 2017 College Basketball Slam Dunk at Grand Canyon.
Even though NBAdraft.net projections don’t include Watson among probable draft picks, he remains confident in his abilities.
“I take pride in my defense. Versatile. Can knock down open shot. Can get to the basket and finish around the rim with bigger bodies in the paint,” Watson said. “A guy who can do anything that is asked from the coaching staff night in to night out.”
The NBA draft is scheduled for June 22. The Phoenix Suns have the fourth overall selection along with two second-round picks.