Having entered draft lottery night with the best odds of landing the No. 1 pick, the Suns won the first overall pick, making good on those 25.0% odds. The Kings grabbed the No. 2 overall selection, with the Hawks coming in at No. 3.
Ayton is the favorite to go No. 1, but the center isn’t a lock to be the top pick, according to Jonathan Givony of ESPN (Twitter link). The Suns have been scouting Doncic all season and they like what they see.
New Phoenix head coach Igor Kokoskov previously coached Doncic on the Slovenian national team and he knows the 19-year-old wing very well.
“We call him wunderkind,” Kokoskov said (via Scott Bordow of the Arizona Republic). “He’s an upcoming, rising star. Luka is a very talented player. His ability to pass, that’s the hardest part of the game, the most difficult part to teach. To be a good passer you have to understand the game. It’s basketball IQ. He’s really unique and special at that age to understand the game well and to be a team player. He’s not necessarily playing point guard but he’s a playmaker who makes everybody else better on the court.”
Ayton is a “lock” to go to the Kings if he’s there at No. 2, per Givony (Twitter link). The scribe adds that GM Vlade Divac “won’t have any issue” recommending Doncic as the pick if the Suns pick Ayton.
The Hawks moved up one spot in the lottery and they are thrilled to be in the top three. “If somebody wants to make us a great (trade) offer, we will listen. Right now we are happy to pick (third) and we know we are going to get a good player,” GM Travis Schlenk said tonight, as Michael Cunningham of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution relays (on Twitter).
Atlanta figures to get one of the Doncic, Ayton, and Marvin Bagley trio and Givony tweets that the team will gladly settle for whichever player is left out of that group. Givony adds that the Hawks would have had strong interest in Trae Young had they landed outside the top three.
[RELATED: Full 2018 NBA Draft Order]
In addition to the No. 1 selection, the Suns also own the No. 16 overall pick (via the Goran Dragic deal), plus the Nos. 31 and 59 selections in the second round. The Kings’ only other pick is their own second-rounder (No. 37).
The Hawks have a pair of extra first-rounders — one from the Wolves (No. 19 via the Adreian Payne trade) and one originally from the Rockets (No. 30, via a three-way trade with the Clippers). They also own their second-round pick (No. 34).
Luke Adams contributed to this post.