Suns center Alex Len, the fifth overall pick in June’s NBA draft, underwent surgery on his right ankle Friday, but the team said he should be ready for the start of the season.
The 20-year-old Len, who played collegiately at Maryland, had surgery for a stress fracture in his left ankle following a sophomore season in which he averaged 11.9 points and 7.8 rebounds, and he was unable to work out leading up to the draft.
“As a precautionary measure, our medical staff determined that it would be prudent to perform surgery on Alex Len’s right ankle at this time,” Suns president of basketball operations Lon Babby said in a statement. “That surgery was successfully completed this morning. As part of a routine evaluation, our medical team identified the very beginnings of a stress fracture in Alex’s right ankle even though Alex was entirely asymptomatic. We expect him to be available to begin the season.”
While this operation was not related to the prior one, it might bring up some concerns about the durability of the 7-foot-1 Ukranian, as chronic foot and ankle problems have shortened and/or limited the careers of many NBA big men. But Suns general manager Ryan McDonough addressed the issue on draft night, stating that he was “confident (Len) won’t have issues going forward.”
It’s unclear if the the team had any concerns at the time about Len’s right ankle.
Also on Friday, the Suns finalized a contract with guard Archie Goodwin, the team’s other first-round pick at No. 29 overall (acquired in a trade for the No. 30 pick). Terms of the deal were not announced.
A 6-foot-5, 189-pound guard, Goodwin played one season at Kentucky. The 18-year-old was the Wildcats’ leading scorer while playing the point, averaging 14.1 points, 4.6 rebounds, 2.7 assists and 1.1 steals en route to freshman All-SEC honors.
Goodwin is expected to debut with the Suns’ summer league team in Las Vegas on Saturday.