With the Phoenix Suns’ season over, it’s time to take a fond look back on the 2013-14 season and examine how everyone performed. As the Suns became just the fourth team in NBA history to win 48 games and miss the playoffs, there’s plenty of optimism to be had for this young team’s future. So far we’ve covered Archie Goodwin‘s first NBA season, Shavlik Randolph‘s short stint with the Suns, Miles Plumlee‘s impressive potential, Ish Smith‘s job as a backup point guard and the return of the Brazilian Blur, Leandro Barbosa. Today, we evaluate rookie Alex Len‘s first season in Phoenix.
With Nerlens Noel and Ben McLemore still on the board in the 2013 NBA Draft, Ryan McDonough made the riskiest decision of his brief tenure as general manager by using Phoenix’s No. 4 overall pick on Maryland center Alex Len. Though Len showed signs of potential in his second collegiate season, he entered the league with a bit of a question mark as a seven-footer coming off a surgery on each foot, including an ankle surgery a few weeks after he was drafted that sidelined him until just before the season began.
Len not being able to go through training camp certainly hurt him in his first NBA season, but that’s not to say the 20-year-old Ukrainian didn’t show any signs of potential either. His presence in the paint and a few flashes of brilliance in the paint and on the glass means Suns fans shouldn’t go labeling him a draft bust just yet. Although Len only played 42 games in 2013-14, if he’s able to stay healthy and get stronger over the summer, it might not be long before we’re having a more serious discussion about whether or not he should start over Miles Plumlee.