Suns strengthen frontcourt, include Jalen Smith with No. 10 pick
PHOENIX– The Phoenix Suns picked forward Jalen Smith with the No. 10 overall pick in the NBA draft, selecting a young frontcourt player to build around their recently formed All-Star backcourt duo of Chris Paul and Devin Booker.
The 20-year-old Smith played two seasons at Maryland and averaged 15.5 points and 10.5 rebounds per video game last season. His selection was a little a surprise considering potential customers like guard Tyrese Haliburton were still on the board.
But Smith does have an appealing mix of defense, rebounding and shooting. At 6-foot-10, he was the only Department I gamer to have 60 blocks and 30 3-pointers last season and was a third-team AP All-American.
Phoenix has actually already made a lot of sound this offseason, adding the 35-year-old Paul in a smash hit trade with Oklahoma City on Monday. The Suns got the 10-time All-Star and forward Abdel Nader, while sending out Kelly Oubre Jr., Ricky Rubio, Ty Jerome, Jalen Lecque and a protected 2022 first-round choice back to the Thunder.
It was a vibrant relocation for the Suns, who are trying to make the playoffs for the first time since 2010. They have actually got considerable momentum after going 8-0 to finish the regular season in the NBA’s restart bubble in Florida, which left them simply shy of a playoff berth.
The Suns now have 3 high-profile players in Paul, Booker and forward Deandre Ayton, who was the No. 1 general choice in the 2018 draft. They likewise have young role gamers like guard Cameron Johnson and forward Mikal Bridges, who both can play several positions.
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Smith could play a supporting role for Ayton, who balanced 18.2 points and 11.5 rebounds last season.
Booker has turned into among the league’s best young scorers in Phoenix. The 24-year-old balanced 26.6 points per game last season and made his very first All-Star appearance.
Paul is owed about $41 million in the upcoming season and has a player choice for $44 million in 2021-22, so it’s crucial the Suns discover some younger, affordable skill to complete the lineup.
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