Josh Jackson‘s lucky underwear paid off at Tuesday night’s draft lottery, with the Suns taking home the No. 1 pick for the 2018 NBA draft. While it was the fourth consecutive year that the team with the worst record in the league came away with the first overall selection, it was the first time in franchise history that Phoenix had nabbed that top pick.
[RELATED: Full 2018 NBA Draft Lottery Results]
“In the 50-year history of the Phoenix Suns, there have been a lot of great nights and great accomplishments, and I think this is one of them,” GM Ryan McDonough said, per Scott Bordow of The Arizona Republic. “This is something the franchise has never done before.”
While the Suns are in position to select whichever player they want from this year’s draft class, there’s no LeBron James or Anthony Davis in the 2018 pool. While there are plenty of tantalizing prospects to choose from, none of those players is a consensus top choice.
The top candidate to come off the board is probably big man Deandre Ayton, who played his college ball at Arizona, averaging a double-double (20.1 PPG, 11.6 RPG) in his first and only season with the Wildcats. After the Suns won the top pick on Tuesday night, Jackson endorsed Ayton, suggesting the youngster’s ceiling is “through the roof.”
However, Ayton isn’t the only prospect in play at No. 1. Many draft experts think just as highly of Real Madrid star Luka Doncic, who is viewed as one of the top prospects to ever come out of the EuroLeague. Doncic is also familiar with new Suns head coach Igor Kokoskov, who coached Doncic on the Slovenian national team.
While Ayton and Doncic are widely considered the top two prospects in this year’s draft class, McDonough said there’s a “small grouping” of players the club will consider with the No. 1 pick, per Bordow. As Tim Reynolds of The Associated Press writes, Marvin Bagley III – an Arizona native – could be a part of that group. The ACC Player of the Year, Bagley averaged 21.0 PPG and 11.1 RPG in his freshman year at Duke.
What do you think? Do you like Ayton, Doncic, Bagley, or someone else for the Suns at No. 1? Should the team give much consideration to how those players would fit alongside Jackson and Devin Booker, or does it simply make sense to pick the best player available?
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