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Old 08-13-2010, 11:44 PM   #6
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Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: PHX
Posts: 3,257
Default Re: Suns have signed rookie Gani Lawal

Officially, Gani Lawal went to the Suns as the June draft's 46th overall pick, midway through the second round.

But Lawal is being treated like a first-round choice. The NBA invited him to be one of the rookies who come early next week to the rookie transition program to be part of a photo shoot and autograph session normally comprised of first-rounders. The Suns signed him to a three-year contract with the first season fully guaranteed even though second-round draft choices normally get little or no guaranteed money.

"I was so excited," Lawal said of his signing. "My hand was shaking. I was nervous. I kept the pen.

"I was excited about that. It just goes to show how much they like me, how much they are willing to invest in me."

That has not changed the way Lawal works. One of his most attractive attributes to the Suns was the Georgia Tech power forward's work ethic. He showed it this week, coming in daily for weight room and court workouts when most of the Suns won't come to voluntary workouts until next month. Matt Janning, Earl Clark and Robin Lopez also were in for some workouts this week. Last week, Lawal participated in former Suns assistant Tim Grgurich's skills development camp in Las Vegas and went against other NBA big men, like Jason Thompson and Hilton Armstrong.

"I'm just going to come in here and work hard every day and prove them right," Lawal said. "I was going to work hard regardless. Whatever they give me, I feel like I'm going to stick around on this team and contribute. I'm going to bust it every day.

"This is a first-class organization. I love the coaching staff. This is a place I can see myself doing great things. I'd like to be here and I think they'd like to have me here so it's a perfect marriage."

Lawal already has made the Valley home, moving in to his new place in Tempe on Thursday.

He is getting accustomed to a new workout with the Suns athletic training staff, focusing more on core exercises and balance than he had previously. The Suns feel there is still some untapped athleticism in Lawal.

"It's something I'll work at and get better and better every day," Lawal said. "I think I can jump out of the gym now. Working out with these guys, I'll be able to jump to the moon."

Good for Lawal, hopefully he can play like a (good) first rounder. Also like that EC and RL were doing drills before mandatory workouts.
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