Bahamas' Ayton top pick in NBA Draft; Bagley 2nd

No. 1 pick in draft Phoenix will rise behind ‘dangerous’ offense

The 7-foot-1 Ayton towered over the others, in a white unbuttoned collared shirt and a sharp blue suit, but he looked and sounded a bit tired from the whirlwind of being the No. 1 draft pick.

The Phoenix Suns made the long-expected move official on Thursday night, taking the Arizona center with the top overall pick. Doncic won EuroLeague MVP before being drafted by the Atlanta Hawks third overall, before being traded to the Dallas Mavericks.

However, Deandre Ayton's sponsored tweet for Black Ops 4 most likely was not what his agent or Call of Duty had in mind at first. "All that stress was overcome by joy the moment I got called, no matter what number it was. It was just priceless".

Bridges' career as a 76er was short-lived, however, as he was dealt to Phoenix for Texas Tech shooting guard Zhaire Smith, the No. 16 selection, and the Miami Heat's 2021 first-round pick. The 6-foot-10 forward was considered a top-five pick before a back injury that required surgery limited him to three games at Missouri a year ago.

It all comes down to the uncertain futures of LeBron James and Kawhi Leonard, two of the league's top-five players, as well as salary cap caution that continues to be the fallout of the disastrous summer of 2016, which saw many teams splash cash around in freaky fashion. If there's a weakness, it's his defense, although he has all the tools to be a quality rim protector given time. But he defended his rim protection in an interview with reporters after the draft.

"Most definitely", he said. "So I just want to let the world know that". The Suns are clearly enthralled with the idea of having a dominant big man down low to build their team around. Ayton was the Pac-12 Player of the Year, averaging 20.1 points and 11.6 rebounds per game. His 24 double-doubles tied for the second-most ever by a freshman in Division I history. His ability to defend the likes of Stephen Curry and Russell Westbrook will determine whether he can exclusively be an offensive weapon or develop into a transcendent big man at both ends of the floor like Joel Embiid.

Doncic figures to shape the future of the Mavericks in some form with Dallas coming off consecutive losing seasons for the first time since the second of Nowitzki's two hard years at the start of his career.

Ayton won't have to get adjusted to his new zip code.

Ayton, who played at Arizona, is from Nassau, Bahamas.


His only pre-draft workout was with the Suns, and afterward, he expressed confidence in his standing.

"I met them one time", Porter said. It's a simple formula, but it's one that the Suns can believe in with Ayton's potential.

"The fans out there are fantastic, the best fans in the world", Ayton said shortly after the announcement of the selection in NY.

"I'm really happy to be a part of the Phoenix Suns now because we can really start a winning legacy with Devin Booker and Josh Jackson and all those other guys". "You know they're great, we're a young team and we're ready". It's insane, I just didn't know.

Phoenix finished 2017-18 an NBA-worst 21-61, but it has young talent in high-scoring guard Booker and 21-year-old Jackson, the fourth overall pick last year.

BOISE, ID - MARCH 15: Deandre Ayton #13 of the Arizona Wildcats dunks the ball in the first half against the Buffalo Bulls during the first round of the 2018 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at Taco Bell Arena on March 15, 2018 in Boise, Idaho.

The New York Knicks took Kentucky forward Kevin Knox at No. 9, followed by the Philadelphia 76ers' selection of hometown product Mikal Bridges of national champion Villanova.

At the start of the second round, the Suns snagged a French point guard, Elie Okobo.

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