Oladipo to Suns gains traction in new mock drafts

The
always-insightful folks at NBAdraft.net
released an updated NBA mock draft on Thursday, and this one features a
few projections worth noting.

• The Suns have an
obvious need at the wing spots, and NBAdraft.net has Phoenix going with
6-foot-4 Indiana uber-athlete Victor Oladipo, likely a shooting guard at
the NBA level, with the No. 5 pick and then adding 6-5 swingman Jamaal
Franklin out of San Diego State with the 30th pick (the Suns have two
first-rounders this year via the Steve Nash trade). Considering the
Suns’ recent lack of production and athleticism at those spots, it would
make sense that they might target Oladipo at No. 5, but new GM Ryan
McDonough has
said pretty explicitly
that a team with so far to
go to be a legit contender won’t be drafting for immediate need, which
would seem to open up all kinds of additional possibilities.
NBAdraft.net’s updated mock also has Phoenix selecting Minnesota small
forward Rodney Williams with the No. 57 pick in the second round —
three picks, three wing players.

• Arizona State
swingman Carrick Felix shows up late in the second round, going 50th
overall to the Hawks. The 6-foot-6, 203-pounder had somewhat of a
breakout year as a senior, averaging 14.6 points and 8.1 rebounds while
shooting 57 percent from inside the arc, 37 percent from beyond it and
66 percent from the free-throw line. He also was considered ASU’s best
perimeter defender and tested well at the scouting combine while showing
a wingspan of over 6-foot-9. NBAdraft.has him as the 56th-best prospect
overall.

• Also making a late appearance: Arizona
forward Grant Jerrett, who made the surprise decision to leave school
after a freshman year in which he played sparingly, putting up 5.2
points and 3.6 rebounds a game. NBAdraft.net has Jerrett going to the
Wizards at No. 54 overall (meaning there are only six picks between his
projected landing spot and no landing spot at all). The 6-foot-10,
232-pounder is actually well outside typical draft range on
NBAdraft.net’s big board, sitting at No. 72 overall, but his 7-foot-1
wingspan and ability to step out and shoot the 3 (40 percent at Arizona)
seem to have him on enough teams’ radars that the expectation is that
he’ll be picked up late. CBS Sports projects him at No. 49 (Bulls), and
Draft Express sees him going 59th (Timberwolves).


Arizona forward Solomon Hill does not appear. Hill, a senior this past
year, had been projected to go to the Wizards at No. 54 in
NBAdraft.net’s previous mock, but that’s the pick that now features
Jerrett, Hill’s former UA teammate. That said, a few sites do have Hill
getting taken late in the draft, specifically Draft
Express
(to the Suns at No. 57) and CBS
Sports
(to the Pacers at No. 53). It appears that
he’s very much on the proverbial bubble at this
point.

NBA.com
has a compiled a consensus of 14 mock drafts, and
six of the 14 — including ESPN’s
Chad Ford
and Sports
Illustrated’s Chris Mannix
— have the Suns
choosing Oladipo. Among the exceptions: NBA.com’s Scott Howard-Cooper
sees them going with UNLV power forward Anthony Bennett, and Sporting
News’ Sean Deveney
predicts Indiana center Cody
Zeller.

— Matt
Swartz