Between the growing prep programs and a smooth transition from Sean Miller to new head coach Tommy Lloyd at the University of Arizona, the state of Arizona has a right to be one of the best basketball states in the nation.
Today I’m going to talk about the 11 prospects with roots in Arizona, where they come from and if I think they would be a good fit for their local NBA team. phoenix suns – regardless of whether they are realistically achievable.
The Phoenix Suns have no picks at this time, but general manager James Jones has said he is looking to return to the draft, and the Suns have received players as high as the projected lottery picks.
The Phoenix Suns have traded on draft day in two of the three years James Jones has been at the helm. He made a series of trades in 2019 involving the #6, #11 and #24 picks, and then in 2021 he traded the #30 pick (and Jevon Carter) for Landry Shamet. As for this year’s draft, he already traded his 2022 first-round pick (#30) in the package for Chris Paul and his second-round pick (#60) in the Torrey Craig trade at the trade deadline. .
(the order and rankings are based on where they appear on my overview board)
4. Shaedon Sharpe – Kentucky Wing
6-5, 200, 7-0 wingspan, 19 years; never played for Kentucky, most recently averaging 22.6 points, 5.6 rebounds and 2.7 assists for UPlay Canada on the EYBL AAU circuit
Yeah, he’d be a good fit for the Suns, but there’s no chance.
9. Benedict Mathurin – Arizona guard
6-6, 205 wingspan, 6-9, 20 years; he averaged 17.7 points, 5.6 rebounds and 2.5 assists in his second season
Mathurin played two seasons at the University of Arizona; professional day
He’d be a good fit, and there are some realistic trade scenarios that could give the Suns a top-10 pick within his grasp, though I’m not holding my breath on that one.
13. TyTy Washington – Kentucky Guard
6-4, 195 wingspan, 6-8, 20 years; he averaged 12.5 points, 3.5 rebounds and 3.9 assists in his first season
My hottest take this draft cycle is that Washington is understated, a modern-day Chris Paul in the right developmental context, so yeah, I think he’d be a good fit. Similar accessibility to Mathurin.
18. MarJon Beauchamp — G League Ignite Wing
6-7, 200 wingspan, 7-1, 20 years; he averaged 15.1 points, 7.3 rebounds and 2.3 assists in his season with Ignite
He played one season at Dream City Christian (Glendale); professional day
Beauchamp would fit in with any good team, the Suns being no exception.
21. Jalen Williams — Santa Clara Wing
6-6, 210, 7-2 wingspan, 21 years; he averaged 18.0 points, 4.4 rebounds and 4.2 assists in his junior season at Santa Clara
He grew up in Gilbert and played all four years of high school at Perry High (Gilbert); professional day
On a related note (no pun intended), Jalen’s brother Cody is entering his senior season at Perry, he’s one of the most dynamic wings in the class and has had one of the best summers on the tour. AAU.
Like Beauchamp, Williams would be a good fit for just about any good team.
26. Christian Koloko – Big Arizona
7-0, 220, 7-5 wingspan, 21 years; averaged 12.6 points, 7.3 rebounds, 1.4 assists and 2.8 blocks as a junior at Arizona
He played three seasons at the University of Arizona; professional day
Ironically, a great from Arizona would be a great replacement for another…
30. Jabari Walker, Colorado forward
6-8, 215 wingspan, 6-11, 20 years; averaged 14.6 points, 9.4 rebounds, and 1.2 assists in his sophomore year at Colorado
Walker played one season at AZ Compass Prep (Chandler); professional day
Here’s the first thing I don’t like about the Suns, as they have a hard time making a big impact off the ball, and those opportunities aren’t there with Phoenix.
33. Dalen Terry – Arizona Guard
6-7, 195, 7-1 wingspan, 19 years; averaged 8.0 points, 4.8 rebounds, and 3.9 assists as a sophomore at Arizona
The most illustrious Arizonan of the bunch, Terry played two seasons at Corona Del Sol High (Tempe), two seasons at Hillcrest Prep (Phoenix), and two seasons at the University of Arizona; professional day
This is easily my favorite setting out of the 11; Terry is very versatile and can do almost anything he is asked to do.
49. Both Gach – Utah wing
6-6, 190, n/a wingspan, 23 years; averaged 8.7 points, 2.6 rebounds, and 2.2 assists in his senior year at Utah
He played one season at AZ Compass Prep (Chandler).
Gach is a good athlete and a good shooter, but sometimes he lacks feeling at both ends; maybe a good fit in time!
52. Adonis Arms— texas tech to
6-5, 200, n/a wingspan, 23 years; averaged 8.6 points, 4.4 rebounds, and 2.8 assists as a superduper senior at Lubbock
He played JV at Desert Vista High (Phoenix) his junior year and played varsity his senior year (never started) before playing two seasons at Mesa Community College.
Arms would be a great fit for the Suns, and I’m hopeful he’ll get a shot at Summer League.
58. Michael Foster — G League Ignite forward
6-8, 250, n/a wingspan, 19 years; averaged 14.8 points, 8.8 rebounds, and 2.0 assists with Ignite
He played two seasons at Hillcrest Prep (Phoenix) and was Terry’s teammate for a year.
Personally, I don’t think Foster is a very intriguing prospect given his horrendous defensive movement and processing at both ends, but each to his own.
There you go. All prospects with ties to Arizona.
If you hear his name on Draft night and it’s the Suns doing the draft because of a trade they’ve made, remember you heard the name here first!