Deandre Ayton is starting down a path that could lead him to being selected No. 1 overall in the upcoming NBA draft.
If all goes according to what seems to be his plan, he’ll remain in the state of Arizona.
Ayton worked out for the Phoenix Suns on Wednesday, a highly publicized athletic test that the team promoted and savored, as evidenced by general manager Ryan McDonough’s responses afterward.
Phoenix Suns GM Ryan McDonough after Deandre Ayton’s workout: “This is a big day for the franchise. … It was everything we expected.” pic.twitter.com/WONoOWWTgj
— The Wildcaster (@TheWildcaster) June 6, 2018
Phoenix will do its due diligence on all of the top prospects, but Ayton will stop his dalliance with NBA teams with his meeting with the Suns, telling reporters after the workout that it would be his only one.
Deandre Ayton: "I haven't worked out for anyone else. This is my one and only workout."
— ABC15 Sports (@abc15sports) June 6, 2018
From Ayton’s standpoint, it makes sense. The center, like any player, wants to be selected first. It’s also fair to guess he doesn’t want to go No. 2 and end up in Sacramento with the Kings, who own that pick.
The big man’s choice to work out for only the Suns appears to be his attempt to ensure that. Like former NFL quarterback Ryan Leaf once did before he was drafted (reportedly refusing to meet with the Indianapolis Colts, who picked No. 1 in 1998 and chose Peyton Manning), Ayton is limiting his time spent with teams to just the Suns. If all goes according to this assumed plan, we should see Ayton looking like this on draft night.
— Deandre Ayton (@DeandreAyton) May 16, 2018
Here’s to hoping it doesn’t pan out the way Leaf’s NFL career did.