The Phoenix Suns are the perfect landing spot for Jalen Smith.
Jalen Smith was the first Big Ten player off the board to start the 2020 NBA Draft. He was drafted 10th overall. The Phoenix Suns are getting a playmaker in the former Maryland basketball standout. He joins Atlanta Hawks draftees Kevin Huerter and Bruno Fernando as recent Terps taken in the first round. Smith becomes the second-highest Terp to be drafted in recent years since Alex Len (5th overall in 2013).
Smith blossomed into a leader for the Terps in his sophomore season and became an intriguing prospect with each performance he put up. He was a double-double machine in his final season (21) and averaged 15.5 points and 10.5 rebounds per game while shooting 53 percent from the field and 36 percent from the three-point line.
Jalen Smith plays well with good guards. The Phoenix Suns have two of the best in the NBA.
While some may not endorse the Suns taking Smith, he’s had success with very talented guards. He and Anthony Cowan Jr. starred at Maryland and were responsible for the success that they achieved. Smith now joins a team on the rise. The Suns didn’t make the playoffs last year but they thrived in the NBA bubble under Head Coach Monty Williams. The Suns were 10th in points per game (113.1) and first in assists per game (27.2).
They traded for Chris Paul who has racked up quite the list of accolades including Rookie of the Year (2005-06), 10 All-Star appearances, nine All-Defensive team selections, nine All-NBA selections, multiple steals and assists championships and he has been an integral part in taking teams to the playoffs.
He averaged 17.6 points, 6.7 assists, and five rebounds per game in his lone season with the Oklahoma City Thunder. FanSided’s Jackson Frank breaks down why he will elevate the Suns’ offense.
Smith will also get to play with fellow first-round picks Devin Booker (26.6 ppg, 6.5 apg, 4.2 rpg) and Deandre Ayton (18.2 ppg, 11.5 rpg). They now have a trio of young talent that will provide them with a sustained level of success over the next few years.
Smith will complement the Phoenix Suns well because he attacks the rim with ferocious two-handed slams and is a threat in the pick and roll offense. He can roll to the basket and hurt the opposing team that way or pop out to the perimeter and drain a three. He will be a guy the team can use to stretch the floor in that regard. When he gets the ball in the post he has the size to back down his defender with relative ease and convert in close.
He also has the speed in the fast break to trail the ballhandler and score in transition. He has proven himself as a rim protector recording 113 blocks during his tenure in College Park.
Terps and Suns fans should be excited about the future with a young nucleus and proven leader on the squad.