Phoenix Suns Draft Gani Lawal (46th) And Dwayne Collins (60th)

The Suns take Gani Lawal Georgia Tech with the 46th pick and Dwayne Collins from Miami with the 60th selection. Both guys are athletic, physical power forwards who provide the Suns depth and size. The Suns could lose big men Amar'e Stoudemire, Channing Frye and Louis Amundson to free agency.

  • Live
11 Total Updates since June 11, 2010
  • Important 8
  • Updates 11
  • All Updates 11

Suns Picks Lawal And Collins Talk About Their Chances Of Making The Team

The Suns two draft picks have an up-hill battle to actually make the team. Very few players selected in the second round ever make an NBA roster and most of those were taken earlier than Gani Lawal (46th pick) and, of course, Dwayne Collins was the last pick of the draft.

From the 2009 draft, 13 players were on NBA rosters last season. Only seven second-rounders drafted in 2007 made it into a third NBA season.

There are notable recent exceptions, such as Ramon Sessions (56), Marc Gasol (48), Chase Budinger (44) and the Suns' own Goran Dragic (45). Going further back, Paul Millsap, Marcin Gortat, Luis Scola and our old pal Steve Kerr were all drafted after the 46th pick, but the odds are still stacked against Lawal and Collins.

Gani Lawal is hoping to be one of those exceptions. He's a guy who was projected at one point to possibly be a lottery pick and, going into the 2010 draft, was generally considered to be a late first round or early second round guy. The Suns were thrilled he fell to the 46th pick, which probably was due to a deep draft that Steve Kerr said was very closely bunched in talent once you got past the first 25 picks.

Gani Lawal

We spoke with Gani Lawal on the phone this morning and asked how he felt about being drafted by the Suns later than expected.

"Going through the whole draft, I was just praying for a great fit," Lawal said. "Once I saw I wasn't going in the first round I said, 'Cool, that wasn't it for me.' I'm excited. I went 46 to Phoenix because that's where I'm supposed to be. I'm excited, I'm ready to get started."

Lawal thinks his athletic, running game is well-suited for the Suns' style and has been told that his physical play and rebounding will be a key for his chances. Lawal, who left Georgia Tech after three seasons, led his team in rebounding (8.5 per game) and scoring (13.1 points per game) despite playing with Derrick Favors, who was the third pick in the draft.

"I think I'll make the team because Coach Gentry really likes me and the staff likes me and they're willing to work with me and be patient with me. That will keep me in Phoenix, as well as me coming in and working hard and proving myself, which I will do," Gani said about his chances to make the team.

Dwayne Collins

Dwayne Collins also thought he would be drafted higher than 60th, but was happy to be picked by the Suns, "Being selected was great. Being selected by the Suns, I would say, was even better."

Like Lawal, he thinks his rebounding and post defense will help him make the roster. He agreed that his game is similar to Lawal, but felt that he has more of a power game.

As for his chances to to make it, Collins was pragmatic, "I was happy I was selected by Phoenix, knowing they have three free agents in the same position as me, power forward. Hopefully, I end up on the team."

Lawal and Collins both went to ACC schools and according to SBN's George Tech blog From the Rumble Seat, faced each other five times with Miami beating Tech in four of those meetings, "The Hurricanes are the proverbial fly in our soup. Against Tech, Collins averaged 22 minutes played, 8.6 rebounds, and 8.8 points per game. He was a fairly big part of Miami hoops the past four seasons and was critical in Miami dominance of Tech during his college career."

In their last meeting on the court, Lawal dominated Miami, putting up 17 points and 18 rebounds in 32 minutes of play. Collins had his own double-double (13 points, 11 rebounds) while Derrick Favors was held to only 7 points and 6 rebounds. Miami won the game 64-62.

Both Lawal and Collins had good things to say about the other and according to Gani, they have a personal relationship and should help each other get better by playing together in practice.

Lawal will be in Phoenix next week preparing to play for the Suns Summer League team.

Collins, who had minor surgery to repair a slight meniscus tear in his knee, has not yet be told if he will come to Phoenix to continue his rehab or will stay in Miami, where he has an apartment near the Miami campus. Dwayne hopes to play in Vegas, but is sure he will be ready.

Continue

Suns Coach Alvin Gentry Says Draft Picks Help Suns Defense

In Lawal and Collins, the Suns essentially drafted the same guy. Both right around the same height and both are physical, long defensive players with raw offensive skills.

Neither of these guys will come close to replacing Amar'e's offense (should he leave) but at least they are big bodies who will be hungry to play in the NBA.

"On of the things I we have to continue to do is get better defensively here and I think the way that you do that is get good defensive players. It's pretty simple," Gentry said about the picks.

We'll get a good look at them in Summer League. Or at least at Lawal. Collins had his knee scoped on the June 18th to fix a slight meniscus tear which may prevent him from fully participating in the Vegas workouts.

The Suns likely won't decide until after training camp whether either player will make the roster for next season.

"I think both of those guys have an opportunity to maybe do something. I just think they're very competitive, they play really hard, they'll be great guys to have in practice," Gentry said about their chances before adding,

"We expect for them to come in and participate in Summer League, and we'll see what happens from there. But we're excited about these two guys. I don't think you can ever have too much size in this league."

Continue

Dwayne Collins, Final Selection Of The 2010 NBA Draft

Dwayne Collins has huge hands, an incredible wing span and reaches 9 feet 1 inch standing reach. Another 6-8 power forward, Collins and Lawal fill the same position and will likely battle for a roster spot on the Suns.

For more on Collins, see Bright Side of the Sun (including an interview with Collins when he was in town for a workout).

According to Chad Ford, Collins has the largest differential between wingspan (7' 4") and height. He also has the largest hands I've ever personally seen. Bigger than Amare's and probably as big as Shaq's. He said they measure roughly 10 inches from thumb to pinky and about about 9.5 from palm to tip of middle finger. His standing reach is 9' 1.5". For comparison, DeJuan Blair's standing reach is 8' 10.5" and Lou Amundson is 8' 7.5".

Todd Quinter calls him a physical paint player, a good rebounder and post defender with underdeveloped offensive skills. He loves to attack the rim and dunk the ball. He sees himself as a Ben Wallace-type player who takes pride in defense and rebounding, though there are some questions about his motor.

Collins had his knee scoped on June 18th to repair a slightly torn meniscus. He thinks he will be ready to play in the latter part of Vegas Summer League (mid-July). He was in Phoenix for interviews and meet-and-greets. Before having his knee scoped, he worked out for New Jersey, New York, Miami, and Oklahoma and expects to be drafted in the middle of the second round.

From the Suns official release:

In Collins, the Suns add a 6-foot-8, 243-pound forward who played his four-year collegiate career at the University of Miami. A strong, physical defender, Collins owns a remarkable 7-4 wingspan and 9-1 standing reach. The 22-year-old finished his career at Miami as only the second player in school history with 1,000 points, 850 rebounds and 100 assists.

As a senior, Collins averaged a career-high in scoring (12.0) and rebounding (7.8) while shooting 60.4 percent from the field, the second-highest single-season average in school history. Collins averaged 7.0 rebounds for his career while leading his team in rebounding in his final two seasons.

Collins is the first Hurricane drafted by the Suns in franchise history.

Continue

With the 46th Pick, the Suns Take Gani Lawal

Considered an excellent athlete and physical player, Lawal averaged 13 points and 8.5 rebounds per game for Georgia Tech.

Lawal is a potential replacement for free agent Louis Amundson.

For more on Lawal, see Bright Side of the Sun.

From the Suns official release:

A three-year standout at Georgia Tech, Lawal was named to All-Atlantic Coast Conference Third Team in both his sophomore and junior seasons after leading his team in both scoring and rebounding in each campaign. The 6-foot-9, 234-pound forward is an athletic and productive rebounder who averaged 14.0 points and 8.9 rebounds in 67 games (66 starts) over his final two collegiate seasons. An able finisher around the basket, Lawal shot 54.8 percent from the field for his career and averaged 6.0 free-throw attempts in his sophomore and junior seasons.

Most recently, the 21-year-old Lawal averaged 13.1 points and 8.5 boards in 2009-10, both team-bests, while playing in the frontcourt alongside Derrick Favors, who was selected No. 3 overall in tonight's draft by the New Jersey Nets. Lawal finished his career with 27 double-doubles overall, second-most among active ACC players. He grabbed 3.6 offensive rebounds as a sophomore in 2008-09, tops in the ACC.

Lawal becomes the 18th early entry selection in franchise history and the third Georgia Tech product selected by the Suns, joining Bruce Dalrymple (46th overall, 1987) and Malcom Mackey (27th overall, 1993).

Continue

Rumor: Suns Targeting Landry Fields With 46th Pick

There’s not been much in the way of rumors surrounding the Suns draft this year (that’s what happens when you only have late second round picks), but the one name that’s come up is Landry Fields.

Fields is a 6 foot 7 small forward with a smart, all-around game. He averaged 22 points per game and 8.8 rebounds in his senior year at Stanford.

Steve Kerr had this to say about Fields when he talked to us last week while Landry was in town for a pre-draft workout, “Landry’s a good player. Versatile. Does a lot of things out on the floor, always seems to be in the mix. Got a little bit of Jared Dudley in him in terms of taking charges and making plays and creating extra possessions and he’s a pretty talented offensive player, too.”

While it wouldn’t seem that the Suns have a need at this position, if the team considers him the best talent available at this point in the draft, they could take a chance.

Continue

Rumor: Suns Targeting Landry Fields With 46th Pick

There’s not been much in the way of rumors surrounding the Suns draft this year (that’s what happens when you only have late second round picks) but the one name that’s come up is Landry Fields.

Fields is a 6 foot 7 small forward with a smart, all around game. He averaged 22 points per game and 8.8 rebounds in his senior year at Stanford.

Steve Kerr had this to say about Fields when he talked to us last week while Landry was in town for a pre-draft workout, “Landry’s a good player. Versatile. Does a lot of things out on the floor, always seems to be in the mix. Got a little bit of Jared Dudley in him in terms of taking charges and making plays and creating extra possessions and he’s a pretty talented offensive player too.”

While it wouldn’t seem that the Suns have a need at this position, if the team considers him the best talent available at this point in the draft they could take a chance.

Continue

Complete Suns Pre-Draft Workout List

The Suns have held three pre-draft workouts so far. Here's the list:

Group 0 - June 2

  • Kyle Gibson, 6' 5", SG, Louisiana Tech
  • Pablo Aguilar,6' 8" PF, Spain (no longer in draft)
  • Gavin Edwards, 6' 9", PF, UConn
  • Aubrey Coleman,6' 4" (6' 1.5" w/o shoes), SG, Houston
  • Osiris Eldridge, 6' 3", SG, Illinois St
  • Perry Stevenson, 6' 9", PF, Kentucky

  • Andy Rautins, 6' 4", SG, Syracuse

Group 1 - June 11

  • Jeremy Evans, 6'9" PF, Western Kentucky
  • Magnum Rolle, 6'10" PF, La Tech
  • Matt Janning, 6' 4" SG, North Eastern
  • AJ Slaughter, 6' 3", PG/SG, Western Kentucky
  • Mikhail Torrance, 6' 4" PG/SG, Alabama
  • Jeremy Wise, 6' 2", PG/SG, Bakersfield Jam

Group 2 - June 18

  • Ryan Thompson, 6’6", SG/SF (poss. PG), Rider
  • Tyren Johnson, 6’7", SF/PF, Louisiana-Lafayette
  • Jerome Jordan, 7’1", C, Tulsa
  • Anthony Mason, Jr., 6’7", SF/PF, St. John’s
  • Hamady Ndiaye, 6’11", C, Rutgers
  • Art Parakhouski, 6’11", C, Radford/Belarus

Group 3 - June 19

  • Deon Thompson, 6' 8", PF, North Carolina
  • Latavious Williams, 6' 8", PF, D-League
  • Reggie Delk, 6' 4", SG, Louisville
  • Nic Wise, 5' 10", PG, Arizona
  • Kyle Gibson, 6' 5", SG, Louisiana Tech (2nd workout)
  • Michael Roll UCLA, 6' 5", UCLA

Group 4 - June 22

  • Gavin Edwards, 6' 9", PF, UConn (2nd workout)
  • Landry Fields, 6' 7", SF, Stanford
  • Mac Koshwal, 6' 10", PF, Depaul
  • Marquis Gilstrap, 6' 7", SF/PF, Iowa State

Group 5 - June 23

  • Jon Scheyer, 6' 6", PG/SG, Duke
  • Marquez Haines, 6' 2", PG, Texas Arlington
  • Dwayne Collins, 6' 8", PF, Miami (interview only due to knee injury)
  • Thomas Huertel, 6' 2", PG, France
  • Kyle Gibson, 6' 5", SG, Louisiana Tech (third workout for local kid)
Continue

Phoenix Suns 2010 Draft Preview

(Sports Network) – The Suns rebounded nicely this year after the Terry Porter debacle but that didn’t stop Steve Kerr from announcing that he would not return as president and general manager when his contract expires on June 30.

Kerr intends to go back to broadcasting, his career before taking over Phoenix’s reins three years ago.

After Kerr announced his intention to leave, owner Robert Sarver exercised head coach Alvin Gentry’s contract option for the 2011-12 season. That was a no-brainer since Gentry has excelled since taking over as the Suns’ interim head coach after Porter was fired at the All-Star break during the 2008-09 campaign.

Gentry guided the club to an 18-13 record in the second half of that year, though Phoenix missed the playoffs for the first time since 2003. In 2009-10, Gentry had more success, helping the Suns go 54-28 in the regular season before a six-game series loss to the eventual champion Lakers in the Western Conference finals.

Even with All-Star power forward Amar’e Stoudemire, who is expected to leave via free agency, the Suns were lacking on the defensive boards.

Since the team won’t be selecting until the 46th overall selection in the second round, help probably won’t be coming from this draft.

Players under contract: G Leandro Barbosa; F Earl Clark; G Goran Dragic; F Jared Dudley; F Taylor Griffin; C Robin Lopez; G Steve Nash; G Jason Richardson; F: Grant Hill

Free agents: F: Louis Amundson (Unrestricted); C Jarron Collins (Unrestricted); C Channing Frye (Player Option); F Amar’e Stoudemire (ETO)

Draft picks: 2nd round (46th overall, 60th overall)

Continue
X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

Join SB Nation Arizona

You must be a member of SB Nation Arizona to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SB Nation Arizona. You should read them.

Join SB Nation Arizona

You must be a member of SB Nation Arizona to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SB Nation Arizona. You should read them.

Spinner

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.