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