In his latest 2011 NBA Mock Draft, ESPN analyst Chad Ford has BYU scoring machine, Jimmer Fredette going to the Phoenix Suns with the 13th pick in the 2011 NBA Draft. There are a couple of big problems with this pick for the Suns that make it highly unlikely he will end up in Arizona. Anything's possible in the NBA Draft and the new Suns front office has no track record to go on, but for Jimmer to end up a Sun two things need to happen.
The first is the Utah Jazz passing on the local star. It is certainly possible that GM Kevin O'Connor has the balls to stand up to public pressure (not to mention pressure from his internal sales folks) and take Chris Singleton. Ford sees Singleton as a defensive replacement for free agent Andrei Kirilenko as a 6-9 small forward who can guard multiple positions.
We'll see. I tend to agree with SB Nation's Tom Ziller who said this about the Jazz' 12th pick:
"You can pry my Jazz-taking-Jimmer prediction from my cold, dead hands."
The second part of this equation is the stated commitment from Suns President Lon Babby to get better defensively.
In his final press conference of the season, Babby made a point to talk about the need to improve on the defensive end and add size to the team. Jimmer Fredette is the opposite of both things.
Then again, Babby also traded a 6-4, long and athletic guard who could defend both back court positions for Aaron Brooks who can't defend anything. If Brooks, a restricted free agent, does return it's almost impossible to see the Suns taking Fredette. If Brooks doesn't return Babby looks foolish for giving up Orlando's first round pick and the less expensive Goran Dragic for a couple month's rental.
Here's Ford's explanation of the Suns taking Jimmer:
Analysis: I continue to believe Fredette would be a great option for Phoenix. His shooting ability combined with the Suns' free-flowing offense are a very good fit. Fredette's terrible defense raises concerns, but at least he is a fit on a team that has been willing to overlook Steve Nash's weakness in that area for years.
If the Suns do take Jimmer it will speak volumes to the direction the Lon Babby and Lance Blanks front office intend to take the team. It would signify a continuation of the "offense first" mentality that's prevailed in Phoenix and run counter to the defensive culture change Babby says he wants to make.
There will likely be several solid potential back up power forwards on the board at 13. The Suns won't know by June 23 if last year's second round pick Gani Lawal can fill that role so if they are committed to size and defense they would have to look past Jimmer and take the size and defense they think they need.
Besides, who's to say the Suns won't trade their pick and move up in the draft to grab Derrick Williams?