Tuesday, July 29, 2014

SPORTS STORY >> Charges will likely be dropped against Phoenix’s Goodwin

Leader sports editor

Charges are likely to be dropped against Phoenix Suns guard Archie Goodwin, who was arrested on May 4 for disorderly conduct and resisting arrest outside a skating rink in Little Rock. Goodwin, 19, who was a prize basketball recruit from Sylvan Hills and starting guard for the Kentucky Wildcats, was booked in Sherwood and released.

He was allowed to plead not guilty in absentia in June and a trial was set for July 2. But the prosecution asked that charges be dismissed in six months if not new evidence surfaces.

Goodwin’s name has been in the trade rumor mill among NBA analysts this summer. After leading Kentucky in scoring his freshman year, he was a first-round pick by the Suns, but had a disappointing rookie season.

He averaged 3.7 points per game and 1.7 rebounds in 10.3 minutes per game and scored a season-high 29 points in the team’s regular-season finale. He was twice sent down the developmental league for brief periods where he dominated competition, but continued to struggle to produce in NBA games until the last game.

Since the Suns drafted Tyler Ennis out of Syracuse, and signed Isaiah Thomas Jr. away from Sacramento, they have an abundance of comparable guards. Analysts say the Suns could unload a guard in order to make more cap room to re-sign Eric Bledsoe, an All-Star forward who is a free agent and far apart from the team in contract negotiations so far.

Though his off-the-court problems have been minor so far, some project Goodwin could be the player cut to help make room for a larger contract for Bledsoe. Though the team and Bledsoe aren’t close at the moment, an offer to the All-Star from another team could change that. The Suns have made it clear they plan to match any offer by another team.

Goodwin was twice named Gatorade Player of the Year in Arkansas during his junior and senior seasons at Sylvan Hills and was named to the McDonald’s and Parade All-American teams after leading the Bears to the class 5A state basketball championship his senior year in 2012.

He spent a year at the University of Kentucky, where he led the Wildcats in scoring, before entering the NBA Draft the following year. He was the 29th pick in last year’s NBA draft and appeared in 52 games for the Suns during his rookie season.