Terps' Alex Len goes to Phoenix at No. 5

Terps' Alex Len goes to Phoenix at No. 5
June 27, 2013, 8:30 pm
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Alex Len on the draft: 'It's once in a lifetime'

Alex Len (Maryland) poses for a photo with NBA commissioner David Stern after being selected as the number five overall pick to the Phoenix Suns during the 2013 NBA Draft at the Barclays Center.

(Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports)

Where He Landed: Though rumors swirled that Alex Len would be drafted overall No. 1, the 7' 1" Ukranian was taken fifth overall by the Phoenix Suns.

How He Fits: Len will have the opportunity to make an impact with the Suns right away. Last season, the Suns suffered through a rough 25-57 campaign, though the organization brought in former player Jeff Hornacek to right the ship. Playing with Kendall Marshall could do wonders for Len, who struggled with inefficient guards during his time at Maryland.

First-Year Outlook: Playing time will be available for Len in Phoenix. The Suns front-court leans heavily on 6'10" forward Michael Beasley and 6'11" Marcin Gortat. While both Beasley and Gorcat are capable NBA big men, if Len can add muscle to his long frame and consistently hit the open jumper, he will command space on the floor.

Long-term Outlook: Phoenix made this pick with an eye towards the long-term potential of Len. The axiom height can't be taught applies to Len, but there is more to Len's game than size. He already has a good eye for interior passing and a good-looking jump shot, but if Len can learn to become a rim protector and an able player in the pick-and-roll, Len's career trajectory could follow a similar arc as Indiana's Roy Hibbert.