News Report: Former No. 1 high school player falls to Suns in mock draft….

The Ringer’s Kevin O’Connor had an interesting prospect falling to the Phoenix Suns at the No. 22 pick in his latest mock draft.

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USC star guard Isaiah Collier, who was ESPN’s No. 1 rated player out of high school in the 2023 class, ended up dropping to Phoenix.

O’Connor notes that the 6-foot-3, 205-pound guard would be an ideal fit for the Suns, who lacked a true point guard last season.

There probably isn’t a better landing spot for Collier than the Suns, even though ending up here would necessitate falling in the draft. Collier’s downhill attacking ability would flourish alongside Phoenix’s spacing.”

Collier, who is originally from Georgia averaged 16.3 points on 49/34/67 shooting splits, 4.3 assists, 2.9 rebounds and 1.5 steals for an underwhelming USC team in his lone season with the Trojans.

O’Connor ranks Collier as the 19th best prospect on his updated draft board. ESPN has Collier as the No. 21 prospect in the draft.

O’Connor compares Collier to two other former highly-rated prospects in Tyreke Evans and Emmanuel Mudiay and notes he is a “dynamic point guard built like a tank with the ability to control the game.”

Here is what else O’Connor wrote about Collier:


Good ball handler with a strong frame, so he can play with finesse or play bully ball. He compounds his crafty handle with a slick playmaking style. He passes teammates open, wraps the ball to find rollers, pushes the ball ahead, and so on.

Covers a lot of ground with long strides, speedy maneuvers, and coordinated leans to knife through the defense. Once he gets to the cup, he can finish through contact.

Flashes shooting upside. He shot over 40 percent from 3 in the EYBL but under 30 percent in high school. He regularly shoots below 70 percent from the line though, so his EYBL number could be an outlier, which so far appears to be the case at USC, with a 3-point percentage hovering around 30 and a sub-70 free throw percentage.

Good defender who has active hands and can strip opponents, at least when he’s committed mentally.


Daredevil playmaker who needs to cut down on reckless mistakes without removing the spirit that makes him so dynamic. With the way he throws the ball into traffic, sometimes it’s as if he assumes defenders can’t see.

He needs to play a more composed, controlled style, as he did in a seven-assist, zero-turnover performance against California. If he has more games like that, it would go a long way toward solidifying his draft stock as a high lottery prospect.

Unproven shooter with shaky mechanics who sprays misses from all over the court. He has questionable touch from all ranges, including the free throw line. Without improvement at the next level, defenses will dare him to shoot, clogging driving lanes.

Average athlete at a highly athletic position without much above-the-rim finishing ability or length on defense. This is particularly problematic for him defensively when he’s not putting in full effort, which has happened far too often this season during a roller-coaster freshman year at USC.

The Suns only own the No. 22 pick in the draft, which begins on June 26 with the second round on June 27.

Do you think Collier is the dream prospect for the Suns in the draft?

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