With the 54th pick in Thursday’s draft, the Phoenix Suns selected Valparaiso’s Alec Peters.
A late season foot injury put Peters’ draft status in jeopardy. However, he had proven enough during his time at Valparaiso and was cleared for workouts earlier this week, leading to his selection on Thursday night.
The Horizon League’s reigning player of the year could fill the coveted “stretch four” role in the NBA. Peters stands at 6’9” and has displayed an excellent shooting touch throughout his collegiate career. He shot 41 percent from three over the course of his four seasons at Valparaiso and will likely be turned to as a perimeter shooter at the next level.
But, Peters’ offensive game is not only limited to the three point line. In each season at Valparaiso, he improved his ability to score in the post and get to the free throw line. But, not only did he get to the free throw line more each season, he also hit free throws at a higher rate each year. In his senior season, Peters made over 88 percent of his free throws, a skill which should easily transfer to the NBA.
A somewhat overlooked skill Peters brings with him into the NBA is his rebounding. He grabbed a career high 10.1 rebounds per game as a senior. If he can bring a high level rebounding effort to the professional game, he will maintain his value.
The main question mark regarding Peters’ game seems to involve his speed on both the offensive and defensive end. As outlined by Draft Express, there is no question Peters can shoot. But, there are questions about whether or not he has the agility to create space for his shot at the NBA level.
Furthermore, that uncertainty leads to doubts about his ability to keep up with opponents while playing defense. Peters’ speed on the defensive end was clearly good enough for the college game as he never fouled out of a game in his career at Valparaiso. But, offensive players are generally faster in the NBA than in the Horizon League, so it will be interesting to see if Peters can make the adjustment.
After being drafted on Thursday night, Peters became the first Valparaiso player drafted since Bryce Drew. Drew was selected as the 16th pick in the 1998 draft by the Houston Rockets.