It’s the eve of the draft and the Phoenix Suns will be on the clock with the 13th pick if they do not find a way to move up. The Greg One has already gone on record as a member of the Jimmer Fredette fan club. However, with Utah one pick ahead of the Suns and the growing interest Fredette is getting from teams in the top ten, it looks like there is no way he will make it to the Valley if the Suns don’t move up.
So once and for all, after watching the draft boards, the televised coverage, the rumor mill and listening to Suns brass on the local airwaves, here is my prediction for the thirteenth pick. Drumroll please.
And with the 13th pick in the 2011 NBA draft, the Phoenix Suns select……Bismack Biyombo!!
As usual, the pick will be surrounded by silence as very few know of Biyombo. The Suns have a knack for selecting players way ahead of where they should be drafted or they trade the pick to avoid spending first round money.
Given the fact that Suns management was even considering sending Steve Nash to Minnesota for the second pick has shaken my faith that they will do the right thing, but the day before the draft, every fan of every team has reason to be hopeful. Lets just hope the Suns manage to deviate from their recent track record.
The Suns last first round pick was in 2009 picking Earl Clark, who is in Orlando. In 2008, Phoenix took Robin Lopez, who is useless at this point. In 2007, the Suns used two first round picks for Alando Tucker and Rudy Fernandez, both who are gone.
In 2006, Rajon Rondo and Sergio Rodriguez were drafted and the only time they touched a Suns jersey was on the draft podium. The Suns haven’t picked an impact player since 2002 when they selected a kid fresh out of high school named Amar’e Stoudemire. In the meantime, they traded more players they drafted in Nate Robinson, Luol Deng and Marcin Gortat.
Biyombo may turn the tide.
He is a 6’10, 240 pound power forward from the Congo with a 7’7″ wingspan. Biyombo is a project with great upside, but plays at a high level on defense. He leads his league considered by many to be the the most competitive outside the NBA in rebounding and blocks and finished the pick-and-roll 65 percent of the time.
With less than 5 percent body fat, he has an NBA-ready body comparable to Dwight Howard or Dikembe Mutombo. Biyombo speaks five languages and is considered highly intelligent and charismatic. His knock are his offensive skills. There isn’t much of a jumpshot, he’s not a great passer and he turns the ball over because he is only now adding offensive tools to his game.
The Suns need defense and have a wealth of offensive threats. With the rising stock of players like Tristan Thompson, Fredette, Kemba Walker and Klay Thompson, some players are bound to fall and Biyombo’s lack of offensive prowess could lead to his slide even though he was worked out for a number of teams with high picks in this draft.
The big man fits what the Suns need and unlike the Suns recent draft picks, Biyombo could find his way onto the court now instead of later.