National Basketball Association draft -- Phoenix Suns select Deandre Ayton at No. 1

Tanya Simon
June 23, 2018

After the Suns selected the 19-year-old Arizona product first overall during Thursday's National Basketball Association draft, the 76ers' top selection in 2014 took to Twitter, shooting down talk the players had similar skills.

Before Deandre Ayton was selected by the Phoenix Suns with the first pick of the draft, he had signed a multimillion deal with Puma.

"Having my name called to be the first pick for the Phoenix Suns was mind-blowing".

Ayton is a generational talent.

So the Suns and Sixers swapped players with the Suns including arguably their best asset as part of the deal, an unprotected 2021 first-round draft pick acquired from Miami.

Deandre Ayton is now the second Bahamian player to go No.1, since 1978 when Mychal Thompson was the only other player to go No.1 from the Bahamas. If there's a weakness, it's his defense, although he has all the tools to be a quality rim protector given time. While breaking down the pick, on-air analysts started to compare Ayton to Joel Embiid. But he defended his rim protection in an interview with reporters after the draft.

Dzikas said that whoever drafts Huerter would learn that he is much more than a one-dimensional player.

With Michigan State's Jaren Jackson Jr. going fourth to Memphis, Texas center Mo Bamba going No. 6 to Orlando and Wendell Carter Jr. following to Chicago, it was an early run of big men in what's increasingly become a perimeter-based league.

Ayton said he wants to be the "best two-way (big) man coming in". One thing that really, really kind of draws attention is how fast he improved and how fast his game changed in the last six months to a year ago so we're just hoping that's going to go up and we are going to help him become even better. In Ayton, the Suns received an instant upgrade to a front court that last season saw soon-to-be 36-year-old Tyson Chandler as its steadiest producer. He also tied the record for the second-most most double-doubles in a single season with 24 double-doubles in 35 games with Arizona.

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Phoenix needs the help on both ends of the floor.

The Suns, were BAD last season.

Ayton won't have to get adjusted to his new zip code. Even late second-rounders extracted higher returns than we've previously seen. His only sleep lately, he said, was a couple of hours on the plane ride from NY on Tuesday.

But he emerged above the rest in the pre-draft process.

Although, it has been reported that the Suns taking Ayton and the Kings taking Bagley are locked in at No. 1 and No. 2, respectively.

Ayton and Bagley are the tallest tandem of one-two picks since 2006.

Ayton and Bridges say they got to know each other well at the college awards ceremony in Los Angeles but never figured they'd be on the same team.

He will instantly bring competitiveness, intensity and most importantly spacing to Phoenix next year, and will give the Suns a viable option down low - something that has been missing since Amare Stoudamire left the franchise.

It isn't all bad for Porter; Denver has a young, talented roster and was one win away from a postseason birth past year.

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