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NBA Phoenix Suns

Phoenix Suns Can’t Bury Rookie Archie Goodwin on Bench

Archie Goodwin Suns

Stephen R. Sylvanie – USA Today Sports Images

If players were still eligible to make the leap from high school to the NBA without playing one year in college or elsewhere, Archie Goodwin likely would have gone in at least the 20 picks of the first round. However, after he played for an underwhelming Kentucky team last year as a freshman, his stock dropped and he ended up going with the 29th overall pick to the Phoenix Suns.

In his one year with the Wildcats Goodwin put up some less-than-impressive numbers. He averaged just 14.1 points, 2.7 assists, 4.6 rebounds and 1.1 steals in 31.8 minutes per game. However, he shot just 44 percent from the field and an abysmal 26.6 percent from long-range, looking much worse than he was projected out of high school.

As Goodwin played with the Suns at the Las Vegas Summer League, though, and was used primarily at the shooting guard instead of the point, it became clear that he has enormous talent. In seven Summer League games, Goodwin averaged 13.1 points, 3.3 rebounds and 0.9 assists in just 24.6 minutes per game. More importantly, Goodwin shot a fantastic 50 percent from the field and went 8-14 from beyond-the-arc. Goodwin showed off a nice blend of athleticism and skill at Summer League, making people curious about what the still 18-year-old can do as a pro prospect.

It’s incredibly important for the Suns to put Goodwin to use in the 2013-2014 season. The Suns are a team that are in need of a rebuild that has a vision behind it and part of that is finding quality young players. Guys like P.J. Tucker, Shannon Brown and Gerald Green aren’t that type of player, but Goodwin is. The Suns have to get Goodwin on the floor in favor of older veteran guards. If they bury Goodwin on the pine, it would be an enormous mishap on their part.

Cody Williams is a Senior Writer with Rant Sports. Follow Cody on Twitter @TheSizzle20, add him on Google+ and like his Facebook page.