Suns select Maryland center Len with first pick - Tucson News Now

Suns select Maryland center Len with first pick

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PHOENIX (AP) - The Phoenix Suns chose Ukrainian center Alex Len with the fifth overall pick in the NBA draft, passing on Nerlens Noel and Ben McLemore.

The 7-foot-1 Len, who just turned 20, played two seasons at Maryland. Last year he averaged 11.9 points and 7.8 rebounds per game. Len came to Phoenix but did not work out because he is recovering from a stress fracture in his foot.

Because of a couple of surprise picks ahead of them, the Suns found that Noel, the big center from Kentucky, and McLemore, the sharpshooting guard from Kansas, were still available. But new general manager Ryan McDonough and new coach Jeff Hornacek went for Len.

The pick was the highest for the Suns since they chose Armon Gilliam second overall in 1987.

After Len the Suns traded up a spot to No. 29 with their second first-round pick in the NBA draft, selecting 18-year-old guard Archie Goodwin of Kentucky.

The Suns see the 6-foot-5 Goodwin as a point guard. He led Kentucky in scoring at 14.1 points per game but shot just 36 percent in his only season with the Wildcats.

A Parade and McDonald's All-America at Sylvan Hills High School in Sherwood, Ark., Goodwin was second on the team in assists (2.7 per game) and steals (1.1) per game. His 466 points ranked 10th among all freshmen in Kentucky history.

To get the 29th pick, Phoenix traded the 30th selection to Golden State.

Phoenix then selected power forward Alex Oriakhi of Missouri in the second round.

The 6-foot-9 Oriakhi played his first three seasons for Connecticut and was part of the Huskies' 2011 national championship team. He was the 57th player chosen overall.

Oriakhi averaged 11.2 points and 8.4 rebounds as a senior after transferring from UConn. He averaged 7.2 points and 6.8 rebounds in three seasons at Connecticut.

He was eligible to play at Missouri without sitting out a season because UConn had been banned from NCAA postseason play for the 2012-13 season.

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