The Suns will conduct plenty of research on Deandre Ayton, Luka Doncic and several other prospects before deciding what to do with their No. 1 pick, writes Scott Bordow of The Arizona Republic. When the Phoenix logo was revealed in the final envelope at Tuesday’s lottery, it marked the first time the franchise had ever landed the top selection, and GM Ryan McDonough said the team is committed to getting it right.
“I’ll let you know June 21,” he responded when asked whom the Suns plan to draft. “I know people jump to conclusions about who it’s going to be, but we don’t know yet.”
The Suns will be among the most active teams on draft night, also holding the No. 16 pick, acquired from Miami in the Goran Dragic deal in 2015, along with the 31st and 59th selections in the second round.
There’s more today out of Phoenix:
- A new mock draft released by Michael Scotto of The Athletic has Phoenix taking Doncic first overall. He explains that not only would Doncic provide an ideal complement to Devin Booker in the backcourt, the move will give the Suns the freedom to target a center in free agency. The Rockets’ Clint Capela has been rumored as a possibility, and DeAndre Jordan could also be in play if he opts out of a $24.1MM salary with the Clippers. If neither works out, Phoenix could turn toward DeMarcus Cousins, Brook Lopez or Greg Monroe, who will all be unrestricted.
- Ayton is the more likely choice, according to John Gambadoro of Arizona Sports 98.7, who tweets that the probability of taking the Arizona center is “100%.” Ayton averaged 20.1 points and 11.6 rebounds as a freshman with the Wildcats.
- New coach Igor Kokoskov, who started work Monday, should have five immediate priorities, Bordow writes a separate story. He identifies them as developing a working relationship with Booker, turning T.J. Warren into a sixth man, getting improvement from young forwards Marquese Chriss and Dragan Bender if they both remain on the roster, creating a defensive mindset and convincing Josh Jackson to become the team’s defensive stopper. The Suns ranked last in team defense this season, Bordow notes, and drafted Jackson last year because of his potential on that end of the floor.