NBA

Reports: Suns welcome Jaylin Williams and Lester Quinones for pre-draft practices

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The list of prospects the Phoenix Suns have expressed interest in continues to grow. On Sunday, the team brought in two more guys for practices, one of which they should definitely acquire a pick for.


Jaylin Williams – Greater Arkansas

Measurements: 6 feet 10 inches, 235 pounds, 7 foot 1 inch wingspan

Not to be confused with Jalen Williams, a Santa Clara (and Gilbert, AZ) wing likely to be picked in the first round, this big man from Arkansas is shaping up to be a solid piece for a team on both sides.

He kinda reminds me of Kevon Looney, the Golden State Warriors big man, especially on the offensive side. Williams isn’t a guy you have to run a lot of games for; he’ll get involved through throwbacks, passing from midfield, but unlike Looney, Williams has a bit of a shooting range.

Williams stands out defensively. He led the NCAA in charges (54) as a sophomore, including two charges (and two interceptions) against Duke in the Elite 8; he was +3 in nearly 34 minutes that game, which Arkansas lost by 9.

As far as how this defense will translate to the league, his feet are fast enough that he can probably survive some switches, and my philosophy on great defense is that as long as you can do more than just lower the cover, you are at least playablewhich is a good start.

Williams is most likely to go early in the second round, so Phoenix would have to acquire a pick one way or another for the game to happen.

On a recent episode from the Locked On Suns podcast I appeared on, host Brendon Kleen suggested using Aaron Holiday’s restricted free agency rights as a way to get back in the second round, so keep your eyes peeled on that front.


Lester Quiñones – Memphis Guard

Measurements: 6-5, 210, n/a

Want to feel old? When Quiñones (pronounced kin-YO-ness) was a freshman at Memphis under Penny Hardaway, so was Golden State Warriors great James Wiseman and Toronto Raptors great Precious Achiuwa. At the time, Quiñones was expected to be a third or fourth overqualified banana, but he arrived in Memphis physically underdeveloped — as most freshmen do — and shot a paltry 31.3 percent from three.

He’s since improved in both departments, now weighing the aforementioned 208 pounds, big enough for an archetypal college sniper, as well as shooting 99-251 (39.4%) from deep over the last two seasons combined. Free throw numbers confirm the improvement as he shot 111-155 from the line on the same stretch.

Quiñones can sometimes sound a bit like 2018 NBA champion Nick Young, and not just because of the air guitar he sometimes pulls out after taking shots. He brings a flair and toughness to both ends that can really help spark a bench formation.

He is expected to fall into the undrafted pool, where James Jones and the Suns are free to stretch their negotiating muscles.

There’s a reason an undrafted rookie Lester Quiñones could play a similar role for the Suns to what Landry Shamet did this season, although you can be sure Quiñones won’t pass up many open shots like Shamet did.

Quiñones seems excited about the prospect of also playing for the Suns; he shared this post on his Instagram on Sunday:

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