The Phoenix Suns believe that Archie Goodwin possesses young talent. The team persued the 18-year-old and agreed to assume Malcolm Lee’s $854,000 contract just to trade spots with Golden State for the opportunity to draft the former wildcat with the 29th pick overall.
“He’s got that ability to get to the basket,” head coach Jeff Hornacek said of Goodwin, who will turn 19 on August 17.
Archie Goodwin is one of the youngest players in the NBA, but age is only a number. Archie and 12 other players are going through a three-day minicamp this week at US Airways Center in preparation for the NBA Summer League in Las Vegas.
“(His age) was one of the things that maybe was a concern when he came in,” Hornacek said Wednesday. “How much of the game does he know? How fast will he pick stuff up? He’s picking stuff up better than we expected. We’re throwing a lot of stuff at these guys. He knows it all.”
Goodwin was already young enough as a freshman at the University of Kentucky. The 6-foot-5, and 198 pound freshman averaged 14.1 points, 4.6 rebounds, 2.7 assists and 1.1 steals in 31.8 minutes. Goodwin’s game was driving to the basket and creating contact while in the lane. He showed his inexperience with turning the ball over, making bad passes, and making bad decisions in important possessions. Archie went on to make the SEC All-Freshman Team.
The biggest adjustment,according to Hornacek, will be mental preparation.
“When he attacks the basket (he can’t) just think shot. He’s got to think, ‘Is it open for the shot?’ If it’s not, then make that extra pass,” he said. “Those are things that — it’s a little different in the NBA when things collapse a little bit quicker than in college.”
Goodwin agreed to the statement given about him.
“As fast as we play, you’re going to have to think at a fast rate instead of playing fast and just going off of instincts,” he said. “Just thinking a lot more and thinking through and playing with pace, those are really things that I’m going to have to adjust to.”
Goodwin appears to be adjusting well to the pro life, even though his pro career is only a couple days old.
“I think the first practice was maybe a little, the physical play maybe his eyes were opened a little bit,” Hornacek said. “But he’s battled these last two and now he doesn’t even look like he’s an 18-year-old out there.”
The Suns are right behind Goodwin, and they really want him to work and belong with the organization. Having a former Kentucky Wildcat as a teammate can help Archie down the road. Eric Bledsoe became a new member of the Suns recently, and shares a little bit of the same characteristics as Archie does on the basketball court. They both make you shake your head with some plays, but on the other hand they play very well with their athleticism and talent. Eric has been in the league for several years now and has improved each step of the way. If Archie follows his footsteps, then maybe we have something here.