Was anyone else jumping for joy when they found out the Phoenix Suns added Ike Diogu? Well I most certainly was. For those that don’t know who Ike Diogu is, he’s a 7th year veteran out of Arizona State, the 9th overall pick in the 2005 draft and a bulldozer. Why was I excited you ask? Well he could be a potential steal for the Suns.
Diogu struggled in the NBA for the most part due to his weight issues, but during his rookie year he averaged 7 points and 3.3 rebounds a game on 52% shooting from the field including scoring 27 points in a game on 13-15 shooting during his rookie season. Diogu was a stud as rookie in Golden State however after the hiring of new coach Don Nelson; Diogu was stuck on the bench because he wasn’t a good fit for Nelson’s up tempo style of basketball.
Diogu was traded after his sophomore year to the Indiana Pacers and he didn’t get much playing time with the Pacers neither, appearing in only 72 games in two seasons however he posted averages of 5.8 points, 3.3 rebounds a game his first season and 5.6 points and 2.9 rebounds a game the following season despite playing only about 10 minutes a night both years.
Diogu continued to bounce around the league despite playing well for the most part. Suns fans remember Louis Amundson? Well Diogu is almost his twin in terms of play style as they both play the boards with tremendous hustle and energy, except Diogu is a lot bigger and stronger.
Should Diogu make the Suns team he might not get a lot of playing time but should they ever call his number expect him to produce. During Diogu’s 7 year NBA career he’s averaged 6 points, 3 rebounds, 51% shooting from the field, and an impressive 79% from the foul line on an average of 12 minutes a game; those are some solid numbers.
Another thing that jumps out at me about Diogu is his extremely impressive ability to get to the foul line. Throughout Diogu’s career he’s averaging a free throw attempt every 6 six minutes, and for someone who has such a limited offensive arsenal that’s impressive. Diogu also shoots a solid 79% from the foul line which is also impressive for a big man; Marcin Gortat should certainly learn that from him.
The Suns are currently carrying 17 players heading into training camp. Diante Garret most likely won’t make the Suns opening night roster because the Suns already have 3 points guards in Goran Dragic, Kendall Marshall and Sebastian Telfair. Luke Zeller is also unlikely to make the team because he’s never even played in a regular season game. Othyus Jeffers is also unlikely to make the team as the Suns are already loaded on the wing.
Out of the four players the Phoenix Suns invited to camp, Diogu has the best chance of making the team. Despite the Suns already having Luis Scola and Markieff Morris at the power forward position, the Suns may want to add Diogu to the roster as a safety blanket in case of an injury to one of those two guys. The Suns will also be likely to go the 2012-2013 without Channing Frye who has a heart condition and will most likely miss the season.
Diogu may not be an all-star but he’s certainly the kind of the player every team would want. In professional sports a lot of times a good player may bounce around until he’s finally found a place where he’s comfortable, just ask Chauncey Billups. Diogu brings a lot to the table as a big man, he hustles, rebounds, and scores. Hopefully both the Suns and Ike Diogu, much like the Phoenix Suns, Diogu can turn a new page and start fresh.