Suns Draft Profile: Marquese Chriss
One of the highest risers in this years class, Marquese Chriss’ decision to enter the draft shocked the media, and has had NBA teams salivating over his special skill set. Chriss possesses a strong blend of electric athleticism, paired with a capable outside jumpshot. His size, speed, and ability to stretch the floor makes him look like the prototypical stretch four in today’s NBA. Chriss has been moving up and down the draft board as quickly as he flew up and down the court at Washington, and he could be an interesting pick for the Suns at four or an absolute steal at 13.
Marquese Chriss may be the best frontcourt athlete in this years draft. He is an absolute beast in the open-court, using his long 6 foot 10 inch frame and quick feet to consistently beat opponents to the rim on lobs and dunks. Chriss’ athleticism also makes him a constant threat on the offensive glass, as he made putback dunks a regular occurrence for the Huskies all year. This athleticism and good hands allows Chriss to attack the defence as the roll man, as well as fade out when the D sags off, where he can show off his silk midrange and 3-point shot (35 percent 3-point shooter). He has also showed some promise in the post, where he has displayed some nice touch on his jumphooks.
On the defensive end, Chriss’ athleticism is on display once again, as he has good timing to get up and swat away shots in transition, and from the weak side. He has shown to be a capable defender on the perimeter, using good footwork and his speed to stay in front of his man.
Chriss only turns 19 in about a month, and has a ton of time to grow. If he can sure up his jumpshot, and put on some muscle, I could easily see Chriss evolving into LaMarcus Aldridge type player.
As tantalising a prospect Marquese is, his lack of court awareness is sometimes so glaringly obvious, it’s hard to ignore. Chriss led the NCAA in personal fouls last year (138 total fouls), and this is largely because of a lack of fundamentals on D. He’s only been playing organised basketball for about four years, and it shows as he often commits dumb fouls by reaching in at balls he can’t get, or trying to send every shot into the 10th row. His effort on the defensive glass also leaves a lot to be desired. He consistently struggles to find a body on the box out, and just looks to be out-muscled when he does.
Chriss really struggles to take care of the ball, and can’t be trusted passing with a zero point eight to two assist to turnover ratio. He looks to force passes that aren’t there, and when he can’t find a pass, will often put his head down and goes right at the rim, leading to questionable shots.
How Does He Fit
The more I watch Marquese Chriss, the more I want a number #0 Suns jersey. I can see him fitting in seamlessly in that four spot, which has been in much needed upgrade since Amare’s knees said goodbye in 2011. The fast paced offence run by coach Watson will suit Chriss, as he’ll get lots of opportunities to try and bring down the backboard.
The Suns could really do with a home run in this draft, and the cocktail of athleticism and shooting that is Marquese Chriss might just go down as a grand slam. What do you think? Let me know in the comments below.