After a so-so freshman season on an underachieving University of Kentucky team ended with him sliding to No. 29 in the 2013 NBA Draft, Phoenix Suns guard Archie Goodwin has a simple message for the League:
“It would have been great to have been drafted where I thought I should have been,” Goodwin told SLAM during last week’s Panini photo shoot portion of the Rookie Transition Program. “Now every team that didn’t pick me, I’ve got to give them hell.”
At only 18 years of age, Goodwin was not only the youngest player selected in this past June’s Draft but also, admittedly, one of the rawest. If Summer League in Las Vegas, where he averaged 13.1 ppg and 3.3 rpg, was an indicator, the native of Little Rock, AR, is on the way to shushing his detractors and backing up his bold words.
“The experience of playing with guys that had been [at Summer League] before really helped me,” said Goodwin. “I did pretty good. I did better than people thought I would do.”
Part of that had to do with what looked to be, forgive the small sample size, a revamped jump shot.
Best known as an elite athlete, in 33 games at Kentucky last season Goodwin shot 44 percent from the field and only hit 17 threes (27 percent). This past July, however, in seven Summer League games he accumulated 8 threes on 57 percent shooting.
“I’ve been working a lot on my shot, just getting it more consistent,” said Goodwin. “I just needed to be able to showcase my skills and showcase what I’ve been working on.”
With a strong summer behind him and a verbal promise from Coach Jeff Hornacek that he’s going to play right away on a rebuilding Suns team, Goodwin is poised to show his fellow rookies and the rest of the League that it’s not about where you start, but rather where you finish.
“I know a lot of guys in this [Draft] class are not better than me,” said Goodwin. “I’m blessed to even be here, but to see how far I slid down—it was a surprise. Every game I go into, I’m showing every team that didn’t pick me that they made a mistake.”