Oladipo to Suns gains traction in new mock drafts
MAY 31, 2013 2:52p ET
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