The Phoenix Suns made it official by taking Arizona center DeAndre Ayton the No. 1 pick of the 2018 NBA draft, according to ESPN. Taking DeAndre Ayton sets the course for the Suns going forward. The talented big man fills a need for the Suns, but is he the best overall fit?
By owning the top pick in the NBA for the first time in franchise history, the Phoenix Suns were in a precarious, yet envious spot. Most basketball observers consider this NBA draft class to be rich in talent. DeAndre Ayton sits at the top of the draft class, along with Real Madrid guard Luka Doncic and Duke’s Marvin Bagley, Jr.
There were additional players who could have stated a claim for the top overall pick in this year’s NBA draft. Michael Porter, Jr., Jaren Jackson, Jr. and Mo Bamba had enough on their collegiate resumes and upside to make things intriguing. The Phoenix Suns decided to go with DeAndre Ayton.
DeAndre Ayton is the prospect who most people will argue had the best season in college basketball. He is now a member of the Phoenix Suns. Ayton is expected to be installed as a franchise cornerstone immediately. He joins a Suns’ team that already has one of the NBA’s best young scorers in Devin Booker, along with a terrific defender in Josh Jackson.
“I could see a little Shaq and Kobe 2.0” — Deandre Ayton pic.twitter.com/aW1jncOoOa— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) June 21, 2018
The biggest need the Suns had coming into the NBA draft was at point guard and center. There had been some chatter surrounding the Phoenix Suns and the No. 1 pick being offered in a trade for San Antonio Spurs for star Kawhi Leonard, according to The Ringer.
The idea of the Suns getting a superstar player in Kawhi Leonard was the talk of the NBA over the weekend. It was debated if one year of Leonard was worth at least four seasons of DeAndre Ayton. Several trade scenarios regarding the Suns and Spurs were also thrown around.
Those trade rumors were quashed, however, in a report by the Arizona Republic. Now that the Suns’ draft results are in, fans can breathe a sigh of relief. It was clear that the risk of having Kawhi Leonard for only one season was not enough for the Suns to pursue the idea.
DeAndre Ayton will start immediately for the Phoenix Suns. He will be the Suns anchor on defense as he continues to diversify his offensive game. Now that Ayton is officially with the Phoenix Suns, he will need to improve on his passing and staying out of foul trouble.
The Phoenix Suns drafting DeAndre Ayton first overall was an obvious choice. How far Ayton helps take the Suns will be determined in the near future.