Jared’s Jumpshots: Game Changers should be there at 13

Arizona Sports News online

It seems like when anyone talks about where the Suns are drafting this year, all people are thinking about who the Suns have picked in the middle of the first round in the past. 

I get it.

Robin Lopez and Earl Clark didn’t work out so great being picked 15th and 14th. In addition, the book remains open Markeiff Morris although I still see him as a positive part of the Suns roster.

But the past is the past and as hard as it is to think positive as it pertains to the future of the Suns, you can think positive about the players that could be there.

Dion Waiters from Syracuse has Dwayne Wade written all over him. The way he can score, handle the basketball and how smooth he looks doing it, could bring an elite player to the roster and excite a fan base.

I don’t know this from personal dealings but Waiters seems like a great team guy as well. He was the 6th man for Jim Boeheim but still managed to be the leader and most consistent player on a team that was ranked number one in the nation for most of the year.

I think the Suns will be looked at as one of the winners of the draft if he can fall to 13. But will he fall? Most likely no. I have a lot of trouble seeing him fall past the Portland Trailblazers at 11 as they’re most likely are searching guard to find the next Brandon Roy.  The only way I see Waiters falling to the Suns is if Damian Lillard from Weber State lands in Portland’s hands at 11.

If Waiters is not there, Austin Rivers should be. And if he is, you have take him if you are the Suns. Rivers might not be great right when he takes his first step onto a NBA floor, but I think he will get there eventually. You look at his strengths. He has great range and also has a lightning fast quick first step to get to the hoop if the shot is not there. When is the last time the Suns had a player off the ball on the wing that could do that? I know last time they did, the Suns were in the Western Conference Finals. Lon Babby and Lance Blanks expressed the need to add a shot creator at that position whether or not Steve Nash is on the roster.

The negatives that are surrounding Rivers all have to do with the fact that he is so young. He needs to improve on his strength and decision making. Only way to improve on that is game experience. He is also being labeled as a liability defensively which seems hard to believe being Doc Rivers’ son but I would be willing gamble there with his big offensive potential being so high.

If either of these two players are there at 13, you have to be happy Suns fans. You land a game changer at a position that also happens to be enormous necessity on your roster.

If they aren’t, then that will be a true test for the Suns front office which already is under the microscope. I like players like Jared Sullinger and Kendall Marshall who could be there. I do not like Terrance Ross. I said it before and I maintain that the last thing the Suns need is another role player on the wing. The team has had more than their share of those since Joe Johnson departed to Atlanta. Besides Jason Richardson, few have thrived in that role.

In the end, try and stay positive be excited about the draft coming up in a week Suns fans. This draft could be the first step in the right direction.

For Suns draft coverage follow Jared Cohen on Twitter at @JaredPros2Preps.

A born and bred Arizonan, Jared has had great passion for the hometown teams all his life. He now channel's that passion into covering the pro, college and high school teams around the state as a Multimedia Reporter for Sports360AZ.