Suns.com Interviews Top Scout Before Draft
Suns Director of Player Personnel John Treloar has been scouting players around the world in preparation for this year's draft ever since Phoenix selected Markieff Morris out Kansas last June. Suns.com sat down with Treloar to talk about how the Suns' scouting staff is feeling heading into the upcoming draft on June 28.
Suns.com: Are your pre-draft workouts completed at this point, with a week to go until the draft?
John Treloar: We are still in the process. We started our workouts back on June 12. One of the NBA rules that we go by is that we can only have six players on the floor for a workout. You can’t have more than that. So for most of the workouts that we’ve had, that's the number of guys we’ve had. Some of the workouts have been made up of two guards, two wings and two bigs, while others have been all bigs and all perimeters. So they’ve been different in their format.
Suns.com: Do you feel like you’re getting close to the end?
Treloar: We are. There are some agents out there that wait to see how things seem to be playing out for their particular player and won’t commit until late in the process. So we’re still in communication with some agents to try to get a few guys that have not come in that we would still like to have the chance to see. So that’s an on-going deal and obviously we don’t have a lot of time left. But hopefully we can get a few more of these guys in.
Suns.com: After going through the workouts you’ve held so far, do you feel like you’ve clarified who you like or do you feel as if you have even more to think about?
Treloar: It’s another part of the process. We started back in October going out and evaluating these guys in their practice environment at their different universities. Then the games start in November and then we watch them in that setting. Next, we go to Chicago for the combine to see them in that setting. And then one of the final pieces of the process is to bring them in and ask them to go through a workout that you put together. It’s one of the last steps of the process and the competitiveness is very high. These guys that come in knowing that they’re competing against each other and how they do that particular day can impact their situation. So these guys go from one city to the next. They’re tired because it’s so much in a two-week period, but it’s all a part of the process.
Suns.com: How important is it for you to talk to the players and get to know them as people?
Treloar: For me, that’s a big part of it. That starts in Chicago at the combine. Until they are on the draft list from the NBA, we can’t talk to them and we have no contact with them. So once we go to Chicago we submit a list of names to the NBA and they make the determination based on your draft position as to who they are going to assign you to interview. So that’s the first step in Chicago. Then when we get them here and that’s our second chance to sit down and get to know them, not as a basketball player, but as people.
Suns.com: During the workouts, what do you learn about the players in that setting in comparison to watching the players during the college season?
Treloar: It’s a little bit more of an isolated view. It’s not a 5-on-5 game that is going up and down. The player is focused on running the offense or defense for the school that he plays for, whereas in a workout, the most that you have is a 3-on-3 situation. A lot of it is a 1-on-1 situation. In a college environment, if you give the ball to a guy in the low post, he can be double-teamed rr there is traffic. So you can never really see some of the things a guy can do. But when you put him on the basketball court and it’s just one guy against another guy, you have a chance to see something you might not have the chance to see in a game. So it’s just another step.
Suns.com: As the draft approaches, are you losing sleep with all of the players, interviews and workouts running through your head?
Treloar: It’s a busy process, but in our office here, (Special Assistant) Trennis Jones is our organizer, gatekeeper and traffic cop that makes it all work. Without him, (Suns GM) Lance (Blanks) and I would not be able to do our job nearly as effectively. He does a great job of getting the guys in and getting them to where they need to be, whether it’s to an interview or the next city.
Suns.com: Although the last-minute evaluating may be stressful, is it also fun at the same time?
Treloar: I think for us - the scouts, myself and Lance – we’ve been watching these guys for years. They aren’t going to change in the last 100 yards of this marathon. You’ve seen them, you’ve evaluated them and you’ve spent a lot of time on it. It’s just the last couple days leading up to a selection of someone who will hopefully be a Phoenix Sun for a long time.
Suns.com: At what point do you finalize your rankings?
Treloar: Scouts that aren’t already here will come in over the weekend. We will work up through the draft, but the things that could impact the rankings late could be if trades occur and you move up higher and maybe there’s a player there that you didn’t get for a workout. But because you’ve made a trade, you might be able to get that player in on Monday or Tuesday before the draft. It will continue all the way to the end.
Suns.com: Do you think this draft is as deep as the media has been reporting?
Treloar: That’s a question I get a lot. I think that the uncertainty of the labor situation last year caused players to evaluate that, meet with their families, their college coaches and agents and a lot of them made the decision to hold off because of the uncertainty of there being a season. I think because of that there’s a perception that it’s a deeper draft than normal.
Suns.com: Do you feel that the Suns are going to get a good pick at No. 13?
Treloar: I do. In most years, big guys are going to come out after their freshman years. That’s how it’s been and I don’t think that’s going to change a lot unless the NBA changes its age requirements. I think next year it will flow back to a normal year.
Suns.com: How excited are you that the draft is only about a week away? This has to be the most fun part of the year for you?
Treloar: Certainly. The work of our scouts is often thankless because they’re out on the road and away from their families a lot. They just go out and do their job. For all of them, to get to draft night and find a guy that can wear a Suns uniform and help contribute in a way that will make us a better team is a rewarding time. So we’re all looking forward to next week.
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