The Suns selected Arizona center Deandre Ayton with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2018 NBA Draft. Ayton, a one-and-done freshman with the Wildcats, gives the Suns a potential franchise big man who should fill up the box score at the next level.
Phoenix had a number of quality options available after winning the lottery in May. Slovenia guard Luka Doncic and Duke big man Marvin Bagley III were also considered potential options at the top of the draft.
However, Ayton was consistently the one going to the Suns in mock drafts leading up to Thursday. In the end, the Suns didn’t err from the consensus pick.
Ayton, who was born in the Bahamas, put up big numbers in his lone season at Arizona. The 19-year-old averaged 20.1 points, 11.6 rebounds and 1.9 blocks in 35 games to win Pac-12 Player of the Year honors. The Wildcats got bounced from the NCAA Tournament in the first round with Ayton scoring just 14 points on 6-of-14 shooting, but that didn’t push him down the draft board.
The Suns can pair Ayton with high-scoring guard Devin Booker to create a fierce inside-outside combination. The franchise also has recent first-round picks Dragan Bender, Josh Jackson and Marquese Chriss as part of its young core.