It’s a no-brainer, the Phoenix Suns should draft Deandre Ayton with the No. 1 pick in the 2018 NBA Draft.
The stars couldn’t have aligned better for the Suns on Tuesday night, as the struggling franchise won the draft lottery and earning the right to select first.
Phoenix hasn’t made the playoffs since the 2009-10 NBA season.
A good draft could begin to turn things around. That means NBA commissioner Adam Silver should call Ayton’s name first.
5 reasons why Phoenix Suns should draft Deandre Ayton
1. Revitalize the Phoenix Suns franchise
Ping pong balls bounced Phoenix’s way on Tuesday awarding the Suns the No. 1 pick. The Suns have a unique opportunity of selecting a playing in their own backyard. Deandre Ayton played college basketball a little more than 100 miles south of Talking Stick Resort Arena.
The Suns’ fan base would rally behind the Arizona product like no other player in this year’s draft. Even if the 7-foot-1 forward isn’t a perennial all-star, he is a local product who fans can identify with.
2. Best player in the 2018 NBA Draft
If you watched college basketball last year, it was easy to come to the conclusion that Ayton was the best player in college basketball. He was a dominant force at both ends of the court. The Pac-12 Freshman of the Year and Player of the Year averaged 20.1 points, 11.6 rebounds and 1.9 blocks in his lone season with the Wildcats.
In the NBA, Ayton needs to continue to develop his offensive game. He has above average footwork and post moves to go with good strength. He has the ability to knock down a 15-foot jumper, although it is not consistent. If he can master his low-post moves, his shooting stroke beyond 8 feet might not matter. Yet in today’s NBA game, teams are yearning for big men who can be a threat in all areas of the court offensively.
On the defensive end, Ayton has the tools to be an impact player. He averaged about 2 blocks per game in college, a modest number for a player of his caliber. He’s agile enough to affect opposing players on the perimeter.
Scouts are concerned that Ayton lacked aggression at both ends.
3. Fits schematically
The Suns are in the midst of a rebuild, and have talented Devin Booker. Booker and Ayton along with Josh Jackson would be the start of a solid young nucleus in Phoenix.
4. Devin Booker is growing frustrated
The Suns’ shooting guard expressed frustration in the aftermath of another abysmal season. Booker is fed up with losing. Suns’ brass needs to show Booker they are focused on turning things around. If not, Booker won’t be in Phoenix for long.
There are rumors the Suns are drafting a five-year, $156 million contract extension for Booker. He’s going to leave that deal on the table if the Suns don’t improve.
The Suns had the worst defense in the NBA and finished with a 21-61 record.
Ayton can be the type of rim protector NBA teams covet. The Suns already have a young post player, Alex Len, but Ayton has a higher ceiling both on offense and defense.