Suns watch Yi work out

Updated: 2007-06-27 08:48
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Suns watch Yi work out
Chinese power forward Yi Jianlian is busy training for the upcoming National Basketball Association Draft in Los Angeles, United States, on Tuesday, June 26, 2007. []
Suns watch Yi work out

A Suns front office contingent of Steve Kerr, David Griffin and Vinny Del Negro traveled to Los Angeles on Monday to watch 7-foot Chinese power forward Yi Jianlian work out, further fueling the notion that Phoenix is in line to trade into the top 10 of the NBA draft.

The Suns have two workouts slated Tuesday, including a closed, multiple-team workout out for Florida's Corey Brewer, a defensive small forward; Joakim Noah, an active power forward; and versatile Georgetown small forward Jeff Green. All three are pegged as top-10 picks, but Green has refused to work out for Charlotte, which picks eighth.

Phoenix also is holding workouts today with Finnish point guard Petteri Koponen, Oregon point guard Aaron Brooks and Wisconsin small forward Alando Tucker, all of whom are visiting the Suns for a second time and project to be drafted where the Suns have picks, at Nos. 24 and 29. For Phoenix to move up, it might take at least the No. 24 pick and the 2008 Atlanta pick that the Hawks owe Phoenix.

The Suns had seen a lot of Yi before Monday's workout, which mainly was a skills display. Phoenix's European scout, Marco Crespi, worked out Yi in Italy last year, and Griffin and Del Negro attended Yi's playoff games in China. Yi also attended a Suns playoff game, as did Brewer and Noah.

Yi would not be just an international marketing boon. He is athletic and despite his size has a good shooting touch and ball-handling skills.