The Phoenix Suns continued to workout out prospects in preparation for the 2011 NBA draft. The big names present for Tuesday's workouts were Penn State point guard Talor Battle, Oakland power forward/center Keith Benson, Washington State power forward DeAngelo Casto, Moorhead State power forward Kenneth Faried, Butler power forward Matt Howard, and Northern Arizona University shooting guard Cameron Jones.
Faried, in particular, caught the eye of Suns director of player personnel John Treloar. The 6'8" big man from Moorehead State led the Eagles to a stunning upset over Louisville in the first round of the NCAA Tournament, posting 17 rebounds and ferociously swatting away the Cardinals game-winning shot as the buzzer sounded.
"The guy has a knack for rebounding," Treloar enthusiastically explained. "With his quickness, and his ability to get to his second and third jump, he's going to be able to rebound in the NBA."
Nonetheless, it remains telling that despite the new Tuesday group, one name still lingered on everybody's lips: Jimmer Fredette. The BYU star participated in Monday's workouts and apparently left quite an impression with the Suns' brass.
"Jimmer was great," said Treloar. "We matched him up against a very strong, physical guy in Iman Shumpert yesterday, and it was a war going on in here. Both guys went at it hard, and he handled himself like we expected him to."
While it's no question that Fredette carries with him a particular intrigue, there have been significant rumblings about his inability to play defense at the next level. Though, the Suns do not believe that issue will be too much of a concern.
"His quickness he has, and his strength he has, allows him to stay in front of guys in short spaces," explained Treloar. "In the half-court, I think he's going to be able to guard people."
Suns general manager Lance Blanks glowingly agreed.
"He did what he had to do to win ball games, which he did at a high level. I really don't question much about his abilities. He's shown it at the collegiate level, I've seen it in person.
"High quality, high character guy. He checks all the positive boxes as an NBA point guard," Blanks continued. "Quite frankly if he's there, it will be a tough decision, because he's a very good player."
Another name being thrown around is Texas big man Tristian Thompson. The 6'9" power forward was another participant in Monday's high-profile workout group that also included Kansas' Morris twins, and Florida State's Chris Singleton.
"With his explosiveness and athleticism, and he's got good hands, I think he's going to be able to get better and better," Treloar said of Thompson. "He's got a great first step also, which allows him to get to the basket. I think he's got great upside to him."
Also noteworthy was news that the Suns held a private workout for Spanish League power forward Bismack Biyombo earlier this month. The 6'9", 240 pound 18 year old has scouts raving about his potential to become a monster on the defensive end. Draftexpress.com lists his best case result as a "6-9 Version Of Dwight Howard".
"We sent one of our scouts from here over (to Spain) last week, who met up with our European scout," the new Suns director of player personnel explained. "He's a very raw talent. Tremendous weakside shot-blocker, good defender.
"He's got a great upside, no doubt."
The Suns will continue to workout players as the 2011 draft approaches. Phoenix has the 13th pick in this year's NBA lottery.
The Suns front office is hoping to have Colorado guard Alec Burks and Kansas guard Josh Selby in for workouts before June 23rd.
Phoenix Suns coach Alvin Gentry on signing a big man with range: "It's not necessarily a situation where we have to have a guy that spaces out to the three point line. That doesn't have to be the case."
Alvin Gentry remarking on the unfairness of asking him to judge a player that he has only seen for less than an hour long workout: "I don't like commenting on guys when I've seen them workout for 45 minutes. And I think that sometimes is what gets coaches in trouble, as far as picks and things like that.
"To bring a guy in and workout for 45 minutes, and ask me to have an opinion about him as to what he can and can't do, I don't think that makes very good sense to me, because I've been on the other side of it too."
Suns director of player personnel John Treloar on the Suns' need to find a go-to scorer: "I don't think that you're really going to draft a guy in this year's draft that you can say is going to be a go-to guy coming right out of college. Most of those guys that maybe had that ability have gone back to school for another year."