The Phoenix Suns have no choice in the 2022 NBA draft. However, there are several reasons to believe that they can get at least one player from this class, and possibly more.
First, rampant speculation continues around signing and trading for restricted free agent DeAndre Ayton, as well as theoretical coincidences such as the Atlanta Hawks (Nos. 16 and 44), Indiana Pacers (Nos. 6 and 31), ” The Portland Trail Blazers (Nos. 7 and 36), the San Antonio Spurs (Nos. 9, 20, 25 and 38) and the Toronto Raptors (No. 33) have draft picks that could be part of the package for Ayton.
This deal, of course, should have taken place after the draft. Ayton cannot agree to sign another team until free agency is in place. Uh, at least to abide by the rules of the league. Fake?! Who said that? I didn’t even bring it up! However, a young player on a cheap deal would be interesting to Phoenix, given the restrictions placed on a tax-paying team. It just depends on getting the right young player.
Secondly, Arizona Sports This was announced by John Gambadoro. Burns and Gumbo For several weeks now, the Suns have been interested in buying a second-round pick. Gambadoro said to watch out for teams with more picks than they know what to do, like Oklahoma City (Nos. 2, 12, 34, and 14 million others they have this decade), Minnesota (No. 19, 40, 48 and 50) and Orlando (Nos. 1, 32 and 35).
Gambadoro’s report includes the possibility that the Suns included the player in a deal to move up the draft from there, and as we’ve said, the Suns have their fair share of moving contracts.
The goal of this four-part series is to sift through this draft class and find the mix of player types GM James Jones typically targets.
After looking at the main areas of the draft, here are a few guys who could be available as undrafted free agents through two-way deals.
Jamari Buyea, PG, San Francisco. 22
Measurable – 6’2″, 6’7″ wingspan, 170 pounds
Statistics – 17.3 points, 5.0 rebounds, 4.0 assists, 2.3 rebounds, 1.8 assists, 0.9 blocks, 47.0% from the field, 36.7% from three-pointers, 75.5% from the game
After my scouting love for Charlotte’s Grant Riller in the 2020 NBA draft hit a snag, I fell in love with the same type all over again—a senior, over-skilled shooting guard from a small school.
You may remember Bouyea from one of the best games of the last NCAA tournament. San Francisco met with Murray State, who inspired me to tweet“Hey, is that an NBA guy? He looks like an NBA guy.”
Buyea has this type of rebound in his dribbling game where there is enough skill, explosion and control to be comfortable in any situation, even if he is not an elite in creating a division. It’s one of those downsides that creates upsides because he’s really good at scoring and making decisions in tight pockets. Once he’s down the mountain, Buyea can reach some cute floaters or reach for his padded bag that allows him to access his 3-second deep range.
The effectiveness, as you can see, is great, given the type of scorer Bujea. He threw 50% or better in 18 of his 34 games, and his triple percentage matches nearly 65% of Buyea’s deep unassisted passes in nearly six tries a night. He shared the duties of the leading backcourt and had a good scoring record with a large lack of casualties given how often he is in attack mode.
Defensively, Buyea only covers one position, and that’s plus a dynamic offense that goes so far because he can’t create space, which is why he’s a fringe dude. A plus five wingspan is at least a nice bonus, and the game footage I watched showed a guy who could have been a plus guard if he put in more effort.
My obsession with Riller, Austin Reeves last year and Buyea this year stems from a common philosophy that teams should start betting a lot more on ball handling plus intangibles and see what happens. Buje has it, and as we learned this postseason, the Suns need some more.
Ginathan Williams, F, Buffalo, 23
Measurable – 6’6″, 7′ wingspan, 207 pounds
Statistics – 19.1 points, 5.0 rebounds, 2.9 assists, 2.9 assists, 1.4 steals, 0.8 blocks, 49.0% from the field, 45.1% from three-pointers, 69.0% from the game from the game
Sometimes you get frustrated watching this range of potential customers because they So come close to being not only guys to be drafted, but also to be able to get through in the first round. If Williams had a faster first step, better defensive instincts and two inches taller, he would be there.
Williams is so long that you will notice more in the way he moves. It maximizes its strides and has a good arsenal in the European department, creating extra space at the rim to reach the floaters. Williams shoots at will, registering 44% of his shots around the basket, and does so because he has simply wiggle enough to gain an initial advantage over your defender. From there, these are some of the usual jerky goodies you see from left attackers.
There is a five-minute stretch in the second half of that game in Michigan where he single-handedly brought back Buffalo.
A pleasant event was the Williams jumper. While he’s slowly loading the ball into Sam Perkins’ shot like a catapult, you can see the amount of work he’s put into his four years of college ball training to hit 42.5% of his 3-pointers over the past two seasons. Mostly a throw and catch weapon, but he can veer off the move and do some extra dribbling if he needs to, which usually gets in the way of unorthodox shots like Williams.
Defensively, on the tape I was watching, there was a guy who didn’t fully connect with the possession of the ball. Things like its excavation, help, and on-screen navigation were a step in a direction you don’t like for a four-year-old. The potential, however, exists due to his length and ability to handle the ball.
Ginathan Williams (Buffalo) has become an inconspicuous senior prospect with good shooting, athleticism and defense. It was 32 on 14/22 against Michigan. Over the past 5 matches, Williams is averaging 18-5-2-1-1 at 46/50/70. Strong d in the video below pic.twitter.com/UB13dkYgbQ
— Mavs/Magic Draft (@MavsDraft) January 15, 2022
If he could take that away and limit his momentum (some of his dribbles are an adventure), then there would be an NBA-level wing in this. Williams plays like he already is, the level of confidence you love to see from someone who will have to struggle just to get into the squad, let alone earn minutes.
We’ve already seen how valuable it was for the Suns to attack Ish Wainwright last season, and there’s never enough versatile wings on the depth chart.
Vince Williams Jr, F, VCU, 21
Measurable – 6’6″, 7′ wingspan, 207 pounds
Statistics – 14.1 points, 6.0 rebounds, 3.0 assists, 2.9 assists, 1.6 steals, 1.1 blocks, 47.7% from the field, 38.7% from three-pointers, 81.4% from the game from the game
I promise, these are two different basketball players. Just two funny, experienced, left-handed 3-and-D prospects who are the same size with the same last name and do the same thing with similar stats.
Williams, like his counterpart, has obvious heavy reps with his jumper. He attempted a total of 55 triples in his first two years as a ram before a 39.7% knockdown rate on 272 attempts in the last two years. Unlike Jinatan, Vince’s progression as a free-throw player from 68.8% as a freshman to 81.4% as a senior further confirms this.
Again, the footwork on some of Vince Williams Jr.’s successful throws that I’ve seen is reassuring, despite unconventional form like these two in a no-set semi-crossover.
Vince Williams Jr. is the one to look for at the end of the 2nd. A smooth jumper and has shown the ability to knock down the movement of 3’s in transition.
Shooting 38.7% of 3 of 5.6 attempts per game last season. pic.twitter.com/L2k5zH47xp
— Kings Film Room (@SacFilmRoom) June 12, 2022
Players as Williams don’t need a huge amount of playmaker’s chops, a pinch or two is enough. I liked the passes he found without rebounding in those situations, although he was worried about losses too.
On defense, Williams separates himself. The VCU principles in this regard really helped to smooth out a great defender. While on the ball you can see that Williams lacks an explosion, he feels like making an impact on him and still marks dribbling penetration pretty damn well.
All these skills put together in a one-minute hissing video seem pretty cute to me:
Vince Williams Jr. (SF, VCU)
6’5″, 7’0″ wingspan, 210 lbs.
– A high level defender without the ball. Excellent defensive awareness with versatility.
– A good secondary playmaker. He has a good view of the court and a tricky pass.
– Good catch shooter and can make jump dribbling. pic.twitter.com/xf4chLTi8n
— Global Scouting (@GlobalScouting_) June 13, 2022
Filling statistics with Williams is rare.
Looking at his full-season assist, steal and blocked percentages for current NBA players out of college since 2010, Williams will join New Orleans’ Herb Jones, Memphis’ DeAnthony Melton, Golden State’s Gary Payton II and Draymond Green. and Delon Wright from Atlanta, if he stays, according to Sports-Reference.
Is Williams on par with those pre-draft guys? No. One or two below.
But can he become the sixth player in his 40s to reach that level of productivity and become a mainstay in the NBA? I think he has a great shot and makes sense for Phoenix in all the same ways as his basketball counterpart.