Featured Image Credit: Creator: Rich Schultz | Credit: Getty Images Copyright: 2019 Getty Images
The Phoenix Suns made a surprise pick in this year’s NBA draft. The Suns selected Maryland forward ,Jalen Smith, otherwise known as “Stix” with the 10th overall pick. Smith, 20, played two seasons at the University of Maryland. The 6’10” power forward was a Third-Team All-American and was named to the Big Ten First-Team in 2020. “Stix” went to Mount St. Joseph High School in Baltimore, Maryland. “Stix” was a two-time Maryland Gatorade Player of the Year.
As a freshman, Smith averaged 11.7 points, 6.8 rebounds, and just under one assist per game. Smith was a part of the Big Ten All-Freshman team in 2019. Smith upped his game even more during his sophomore year; “Stix” averaged 15.5 points, 10.5 rebounds, and once again, just under one assists a game.
Smith posted this message on Twitter after being selected in the draft:
The Phoenix Suns are in a great situation. After acquiring point guard Chris Paul, they now add a sharpshooting big man who could see solid playing time in the near future. The Suns are also rumored to be interested in bringing back Dario Saric, so Smith won’t start right away; however; he should be in the rotation. Once Smith develops into a starter in the NBA, he could make a scary frontcourt duo alongside Deandre Ayton.
Maryland head coach, Mark Turgeon, said the following about Smith: “I couldn’t be happier for Jalen and his family tonight. Jalen entered our program with a plan and put in the work to turn his dream into a reality. To be selected in the top-10 makes it that much more special. I have no doubt Jalen is destined for great things and can’t wait to see what’s in store for the future.”
General Manager, Monty Williams, is making moves for the Phoenix Suns this offseason. With the addition of Smith, watch out for the Suns who could be making a push for the playoffs this season.