"Suns get look at high school standout
By Craig Morgan, Tribune
The Suns worked out four draft prospects Sunday at America West Arena as they whittle down their wish list for the No. 7 pick in the June 24 NBA draft in New York.
Heading the list was Oak Hill (Va.) Academy's Josh Smith, an athletic, 6-foot-8 swingman who is listed as the third-best high school player
in the draft. The Atlanta native committed to play for Indiana University in November but changed his mind after gauging his NBA draft potential. Smith is listed as high as a top-five pick on some draft boards, but his stock may be dropping given the deficiencies still present in his raw game.
While he may be more athletic than Atlanta counterpart Dwight Howard, Smith is thin (220 pounds) and needs work with his ball-handling, perimeter shooting and defense. There are also concerns about his focus on the court.
“That's something you have to be careful about saying. I have never seen a high school kid have a lot of effort," Suns coach Mike D'Antoni said. “When you're so talented and it comes so easy, he's never been pushed. He's got a lot of upside and a lot of talent."
The Suns, the NBA's youngest team last season, must decide if that upside is worth adding another young, unproven player. Smith has also worked out for Charlotte, Washington and Atlanta, the clubs with the three picks just ahead of Phoenix.
Also in Sunday were Brazilian big man Anderson Varejao, Slovenian point guard Sasha Vujacic and high school point guard Sebastian Telfair
, who was limited by a pulled groin.
Varejao, whose game has been compared to Drew Gooden's, has declared for the past two drafts and then pulled his name at the last minute when he didn't like his prospects. The 6-10 forward played last season for F.C. Barcelona, averaging 8.7 points during the regular season. Vujacic brings good size at 6-7 and great ball-handling skills but lacks speed and strength. He is projected as a point guard in the NBA, but spent much of last season with Snaidero Udine of the Euroleague playing two-guard.
At 5-11 it is unlikely the Suns would be interested in Lincoln High's (N.Y.) Telfair with the No. 7 pick."
The Brazilian is supposed to be very strong! Smith could be fantastic! Interesting visits.