PHOENIX (AP) — The Phoenix Suns, coming off the second-worst season in franchise history, went even younger with their second pick in Thursday’s first round, tabbing the young Archie Goodwin after he played one season with Kentucky. Phoenix traded up a notch from No. 30 to 29, with Golden State exchanging the picks and in a salary dump included guard Malcolm Lee as part of the deal.
Phoenix general manager Ryan McDonough said the Suns badly wanted Goodwin and weren’t sure he would be available if the trade wasn’t made. Goodwin worked out twice in Phoenix.
Goodwin, envisioned as a point guard by the Suns, was accompanied by his mother, stepfather, aunt and uncle at Friday’s news conference. A touted high school player out of suburban Little Rock, Ark., he struggled with his shooting at Kentucky.
“I will say right now my strength will be really attacking the rim, making plays for myself and others, being aggressive and confident, and my competitive edge really sets me apart,” Goodwin said. “But I have a lot of room to grow. I’m only 18. I can get a lot stronger, I can get a lot more consistent in shooting, get my dribbling better and getting a high IQ for the game.”
Goodwin’s new coach, Jeff Hornacek, is confident Goodwin will do all he can to make the most of his ability, saying the player has shown he’ll be willing to work hard in order to improve.
“He’s got a bright future and he can do a lot of things for us,” the coach said. “Especially in the open game that we want to run.”