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2013 NBA Draft: Suns select Alex Len with the No. 5 pick

By Zach Harper | NBA writer

More Draft: Grades | Bennett surprise No. 1 | Trades | 2014 Mock | Most memorable draft?

With the fifth pick in the 2013 NBA Draft, the Phoenix Suns selected Alex Len out of Maryland.

The fifth selection in this draft is a project big man out of Maryland, but one who was rumored to go with the top pick in this draft over the past couple of weeks. It's a bit of a surprise that he'd go before Nerlens Noel with the Cavaliers passing on him, but the Suns apparently wanted a project big man with a higher potential for being a scorer in the post. Len brings a big body at 7-foot-1 with a 7-3 wingspan and has some scoring ability.

Phoenix has completely overhauled its team since the sign-and-trade of Steve Nash to the Los Angeles Lakers this past offseason, attempting to stockpile young assets. With recently hired coach Jeff Hornacek, we'll see a whole new approach than what we saw last season. Len joins Goran Dragic, Markieff Morris, Michael Beasley, Marcus Morris and Wes Johnson as some of the younger players on this team who are currently making up the core.

Like Noel and many other big-man prospects in this draft, Len is thought of as more of a defensive player than someone who can put the ball in the basket. He moves his feet well on pick-and-roll coverage, has good rotations on weak-side help and is a solid rebounder. But will he ever become a big post defender or someone who can dominate stretches of a basketball game? The Suns will see if they can start developing him right away to man the middle once Marcin Gortat's contract runs out next summer.

The Suns are scheduled to pick again at Nos. 30 and 57.

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