BY: ED COLE
GLENDALE, Ariz. – If Sam Dekker were a superhero, he’d be Iron Man. Last season, Dekker led the nation in games played with 40. During Wisconsin’s run to the Final Four, Dekker played 32 minutes or more in all six games.
Dekker’s not really sure if what he did in the tournament is helping his NBA stock. He’s hitting the road, working out with as many teams as possible and trying to make a good impression, with the 2015 NBA Draft just a few weeks away.
“If it did help it, then that’s good. I was just trying to go out there and play well, and it happened to work out pretty well for myself and for our team,” Dekker said. “I don’t really put too much stock into that stuff. I just try and play my game everyday and get better and come draft day, we’ll see what happens.”
Dekker was in town recently for a workout with the Phoenix Suns, and he thought it was good.
“It went well. They ran us pretty good, but I’m in pretty good shape,” Dekker said. “I felt good. Obviously, there’s always some things you want to do a little better, but overall I thought it was a good workout.”
Suns’ general manager Ryan McDonough took a good look at Dekker, and liked what he saw from him. McDonough was especially impressed by Dekker’s shooting touch and his range.
“He (Dekker) shoots it pretty easy. He’s got a high release, high arcing shot. He’s also got good size and strength,” McDonough said. “We like his versatility; he’s able to step up (to) the three-point line and make shots behind the line, but he’s also able to catch on swing passes, and attack closeouts, and get all the way to the basket and finish. He’s a pretty fluid athlete, so I think at times you don’t realize how big he is until you see him go finish and dunk pretty easily on the break.”
At 6-9, 230 pounds, McDonough can see Dekker playing a couple different positions in the NBA.
“I think playing him (Dekker) at the shooting guard or center would be a stretch,” McDonough said. “I can see him playing some power forward or some small forward. I think that should be a pretty easy transition with his size, (if he’s) as strong as I think he’s gonna be, once he gets in an NBA weight program, and with his athleticism.”
Dekker feels his run-and-gun style of basketball would make him a perfect fit in the Suns organization.
“Absolutely,” Dekker said. “That’s something I like to do is (to) get up in the open court, using my athleticism, putting the defense on their heels. That’s something I’ve been able to do well over the course of my career, and hopefully I can continue that.”
“Wherever I go, if I can fit in, I can see myself being used in many different ways,” Dekker said.