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Jermaine O'Neal

Phoenix Suns draft Alex Len with the fifth overall pick of the NBA draft

Alex Len had been mentioned as a possible No. 1 overall selection for the Cleveland Cavaliers by a number of websites going into Thursday's NBA draft, and even more prominently to the Charlotte Bobcats at No. 4.

If those picks turned ultimately out to be surprises — the Cavaliers taking Nevada-Las Vegas forward Anthony Bennett with the first pick and the Bobcats choosing Indiana center Cody Zeller with the fourth — the No. 5 pick of the Phoenix Suns turned out to be a “dream come true” for the former Maryland center.

“I'm so excited. … I'm so honored to be here,” Len said to ESPN's Shane Battier shortly after being selected. “I'm so excited I'm going to Phoenix. I just can't...