The Phoenix Suns insulated themselves from the potential departure of restricted free agent Eric Bledsoe by selecting Syracuse’s Tyler Ennis 18th overall.
Let’s preface this post by stating that Bledsoe is most likely not going to be departing the Suns’ roster after a near playoff season where he averaged 17 points, nearly six assists, and five rebounds per game. That is a monster season, and to top it off Bledsoe plays killer, intense defense on the perimeter. He and Goran Dragic set the tone for the Suns, and losing either one of them would be a back breaker for the organization.
However, the Suns did a really nice job here of getting a smart, poised point guard in the event that the unforeseeable should happen. Ennis’s intelligence and methodical, smart game reminds me a bit of his countryman Steve Nash, although he has a long way to go to reach even a portion of that level. Regardless though, the Suns do still need a third point guard given how many minutes they play both Bledsoe and Dragic per game.
Ennis needs to do a bit of work in ironing out the consistency and quickness of both his long range shot and his pull up jumper. But outside of that, we’re talking about a player that always makes the right decision when it comes to both making plays for others and keeping everyone involved. He is a true point guard’s point guard, and he was the straw that stirred the drink for a Syracuse team that started 25-0. It’s also worth mentioning that he was first-team All-ACC defensively, but as with all Syracuse players there will be an adjustment period as they get reacclimatized to playing man-to-man defense. But he plays hard on that end, and you can at least expect a high effort level.
Overall, this is a good value pick. Ennis was considered by some to be an option in the late lottery, and I’m sure the Suns considered him at 14 as well. This seems like a smart, safe roster management decision for a team that had three first round picks if there is even the slightest chance that Bledsoe is going to leave.