The Suns grabbed Alex Len with the 5th overall pick and Archie Goodwin with the 29th pick in the 2013 NBA Draft, and both rookies have a lot to prove this season.
Alex Len is the 7'1" Ukrainian center out of Maryland. Last season, he put up 11.9 points, 7.8 rebounds and 2.1 blocks per game.
Although those are decent numbers, they wouldn't usually be deserving of the 5th pick in the draft. What's even stranger is that Len did not appear on any of the All-ACC teams. In fact, he received no awards at all for his college play.
Also, in the annual rookie survey conducted by the NBA that asks how well rookies would fare and which would be the best, Len was completely snubbed by his peers and did not receive a single vote on any of the questions.
Then, of course, there's also the fact that he is recovering from multiple ankle surgeries.
Unfortunately, these signs all have "bust" written on them, and a lot of people are already expecting Len to fail. He won't be expected to contribute immediately with Gortat on the roster, but hopefully Len can be a sufficient center for the Suns in the future and prove his doubters wrongs.
Then there's Archie Goodwin, who at 19 years old is one of the youngest players in the NBA. Despite being considered one of the top high school prospects when he committed to Kentucky, Goodwin's draft stock was hurt after a poor freshman season.
But this summer, the 6'5" athletic guard shocked many of the teams that passed up on him. He shined in the summer league, where he averaged 13.1 points and 3.3 rebounds in just 24.6 minutes per game. Goodwin shot 50 percent from the field in seven games, and he even converted 8-of-14 three-point attempts despite being a relatively weak long-distance shooter at Kentucky.
Goodwin could be a very exciting prospect to watch. He has the length and athleticism to defend the perimeter on one end while relentlessly attacking the basket on the other. With a consistent jump shot he could be a dangerous all-around player.
He won't have a huge role for the Suns this year, as Eric Bledsoe will be starting at shooting guard. Even so, if Goodwin impresses his coaches he may be able to receive 15-20 minutes per game coming off the bench. For him, this season is all about silencing his critics.
As he said himself in an interview with SLAM Online, “Now every team that didn’t pick me, I’ve got to give them hell.”