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Phoenix Suns select former Maryland power forward Jalen Smith with 10th overall pick in NBA Draft

Smith, 20, was an elite rebounder and defender at Maryland. The 6-foot-10 forward/center also had great scoring ability.
Credit: AP
FILE - Maryland forward Jalen Smith dribbles up court against Illinois during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game in College Park, Md., in this Saturday, Dec. 7, 2019, file photo. Smith is a possible pick in the NBA Draft, Wednesday, Nov. 18, 2020.(AP Photo/Julio Cortez, File)

PHOENIX — It's been a big week for the Phoenix Suns. After trading for All-Star point guard Chris Paul and sending away multiple key players from last season's team, the Suns had the 10th pick in the NBA Draft.

With the pick, the Suns selected Jalen Smith, a power forward/center out of Maryland.

Smith played two seasons at Maryland and was a force in his sophomore season, averaging 15.5 points and 10.5 rebounds per game. Smith was also an elite defender as well, averaging 2.5 blocks per game. 

In addition to his strong rebounding and shot blocking ability, Smith was a scorer. For his size, he even shot the three ball well at 37%.

Smith attended Mount Saint Joseph High School in Baltimore where he earned Gatorade Maryland Boys Basketball Player of the Year twice while averaging more than 20 points per game with 12 rebounds and four blocks.  

The Suns, at this time, do not have a second round pick. 

The Minnesota Timberwolves selected Georgia guard Anthony Edwards first overall in the draft.

Here's how picks 1-9 shook out:

1. Minnesota - Anthony Edwards, SG, Georgia
2. Golden State - James Wiseman, C, Memphis
3. Charlotte - LaMelo Ball, PG, Chino Hills, Calif.
4. Chicago - Patrick Williams, SF, Florida State
5. Cleveland - Isaac Okoro, SF, Auburn
6. Atlanta - Onyeka Okongwu, C, USC
7. Detroit - Killian Hayes, PG, France
8. New York - Obi Toppin, PF, Dayton
9. Washington - Deni Avdija, PF, Israel

On Monday, the Suns made a blockbuster deal to bring in Chris Paul from the Oklahoma City Thunder.

This likely makes the Suns' starting five Paul, Devin Booker, 2018 first-round pick Mikal Bridges, 2018 first overall pick DeAndre Ayton, and either Dario Saric or 2019 first-round pick Cameron Johnson.

The Suns traded away beloved icon Kelly Oubre Jr., 2019 first-round draft pick Ty Jerome, point guard Ricky Rubio, Jalen Lecque and a 2022 first-round pick.

With the deal, the Suns will take on Paul's $41 million salary, which turns to $44 million next season before he becomes an unrestricted free agent after the 2021-22 season.

Oubre's contract was up after the 2020-2021 season. Rubio, 30, was signed with Phoenix through the 2021-2022 season at $17 million a year. 

The Suns narrowly made the "NBA bubble" in Orlando, where they were the only team to go undefeated, going a perfect 8-0, but the stars did not align for the team to make the playoffs.

Phoenix hasn't made the NBA playoffs since the 2009-2010 season. 

The team is hoping the additions of Paul and Smith will change that.