Jeff Withey, No. 30 (Mock Draft)
Phoenix goes big with the final pick of the first round.
by Eduardo Maisonet, III / @edthesportsfan
It’s the end of the first round, folks are ready to go to the bathroom, make a turkey sandwich and check on their laundry at this point. I know we are in the Suns green room. I’m tired. I want to go home.
But I can’t sit here and look at the current state of our roster and have a real sense of worry that this team is still pretty damn putrid. Yes, we were able to land the REAL best person in this Draft with Victor Oladipo at No. 5, but even with him I still worry about the foundation of our basketball team. Do we have enough bigs? Do we have enough shooters? Can we get another rim-slasher? Dear basketball gods, please send us something to build this team up.
This is the life of a rebuilding franchise with no franchise player.
With the 30th pick in the 2013 SLAMonline Mock Draft, the Phoenix Suns select…
Jeff Withey from Kansas.
This pick doesn’t come with the fanfare and hope that many first-round draft picks provide. Nope, we know what we’re getting with Withey, and he comes to Phoenix to fill an immediate need. Length. Size. Defense. Rebounds. 7-feet. It’s hard to turn down an opportunity to bring those things to a roster at the end of the first round.
To be fair, we’ve probably under-appreciated Withey’s career at Kansas. From a young kid who looked like a pure stiff to a young man who emerged as an elite defender who plays with a ton of energy as well. He’s always found ways to improve his game year over year, and during his four years at Lawrence, he even took a leadership role. These are the types of things we like to hear around the Suns organization. Can he improve offensively? Can he defend in space? Can he become a starter in the NBA? These are questions that through development (and prayer) we hope we can potentially answer in the affirmative.
The reality is with Phoenix is this, Marcin Gortat is an expendable trade asset and acquiring a big like Withey gives the Suns a chance to develop a player who can immediately contribute. Following in the footsteps of Oklahoma City and Golden State, being able to find immediate contributors late in the first and in the second rounds could help propel this team from the top of the Lottery to…well, a little further down the Lottery.
|2013 SLAMonline Mock Draft|
|1||Cavs||Otto Porter||16||Celtics||Mason Plumee|
|2||Magic||Nerlens Noel||17||Hawks||Lucas Nogueira|
|3||Wizards||Anthony Bennett||18||Hawks||Tony Mitchell|
|4||Bobcats||Ben McLemore||19||Cavs||Sergey Karasev|
|5||Suns||Victor Oladipo||20||Bulls||Gorgui Dieng|
|6||Pelicans||Trey Burke||21||Jazz||Ricky Ledo|
|7||Kings||CJ McCollum||22||Nets||Dennis Schroeder|
|8||Pistons||Michael Carter-Williams||23||Pacers||Reggie Bullock|
|9||TWolves||Kentavious Caldwell-Pope||24||Knicks||Nate Wolters|
|10||Blazers||Shabazz Muhammad||25||Clippers||Jamaal Franklin|
|11||Sixers||Steven Adams||26||TWolves||Rudy Gobert|
|12||Thunder||Cody Zeller||27||Nuggets||Allen Crabbe|
|13||Mavs||Alex Len||28||Spurs||Giannis Adetokunbo|
|14||Jazz||Shane Larkin||29||Thunder||Pierre Jackson|
|15||Bucks||Kelly Olynyk||30||Suns||Jeff Withey|