The Phoenix Suns currently have Eric Bledsoe, Brandon Knight, Devin Booker, Tyler Ulis, Archie Goodwin, John Jenkins and Leandro Barbosa at guard. That hasn’t stopped ESPN’s Chad Ford from selecting a point guard for the Suns in his first 2017 mock draft.
Ford has North Carolina State freshman point guard Dennis Smith being selected No. 4 overall to Phoenix, who ESPN has projected at 26-56.
The Suns already have two starting point guards on their roster: Eric Bledsoe and Brandon Knight. But at least one of them could be gone by the trade deadline or draft day in 2017.
Smith missed his senior season because of a torn ACL but looked like a monster this summer at the Adidas Nations camp. He’s the most athletic point guard in the draft.
There’s no doubt about Smith’s raw ability. The 6-foot-2 18-year-old is filled with explosive athleticism and alleviated concerns of any of it going missing post-injury after the big summer Ford noted. As you can see in the above video, anytime the back-to-back NBA MVP Stephen Curry asks the cameraman for a replay, that’s a good sign you’ve got some bounce.
It’s hard not to love Smith after hearing his story of being offered by N.C. State. His first time playing in front of a coach from the college was as a high school freshman in a game when he came off the bench and scored only three points. Less than a year later, he scored a school-record 43 points with N.C. State head coach Mark Gottfried in the building and received a scholarship offer.
Sports Illustrated called Smith a “rehabilitated contender for the No. 1 pick,” and compared him to Wake Forest-era Chris Paul.
Ford and many other draft experts have heralded this 2017 draft class, with Ford saying it “looks absolutely loaded.”
Washington freshman guard Markelle Fultz, Duke freshman power forward Harry Giles, Kansas freshman wing Josh Jackson, and French 18-year-old point guard Frank Ntilikina are the rest of the top-five picks in the mock draft.
- Suns announce $1 million grant to build, refurbish 50 basketball courts
- Suns’ Jared Dudley reflects on current role with Suns on ‘The Woj Pod’
- Empire of the Suns Mailbag: Booker’s next step, Doncic’s fit, 2018 draft
- Suns sign second-round draft pick Alec Peters
- Phoenix Suns release ‘statement’ black alternate jersey for new season