NBA.com hoping for Suns luck in lottery, Ayton selection at No. 1
It’s not hard to see why the Phoenix Suns are the team to root for when it comes to landing the No. 1 overall pick.
Having gone through a brutal 21-61 season and a win total of 68 in the past three seasons, the Suns getting their first-ever No. 1 overall pick in the 50th year of the franchise checks a lot of boxes from a narrative perspective. There’s also the excitement in putting that player selected first next to a new head coach in Igor Kokoskov and a young star in Devin Booker.
When an NBA.com roundtable was asked what would happen in a perfect world in the NBA Draft Lottery, three of the five writers wished for the Suns to get the pick. Not only that, but the opening at center on the roster and local ties for Arizona Wildcat product Deandre Ayton make a whole lot of sense for Phoenix as well.
David Aldridge: The Suns will win the lottery and select Deandre Ayton from Arizona. Come on; that’s a no-brainer and would go a long way to resuscitating one of the great franchises in league history, which has fallen on very hard times of late. Ayton would give Devin Booker a legit running mate for a decade and give new coach Igor Kokoskov roster structure around which to begin rebuilding the team. Phoenix needs Josh Jackson to get in the lab this summer and become a capable perimeter threat; along with the explosive Ayton down low and the dynamic Booker on the ball, you could start to see the sky clearing in the Valley of the Sun.
Steve Aschburner: I’ll go with Phoenix, which has been down too long for what used to be an NBA destination market for top free agents. And might as well go local: The Suns would use the No. 1 pick on Arizona C Deandre Ayton.
Shaun Powell: The Suns will win and will keep Arizona center Deandre Ayton in-state. It’s a natural fit in more ways than one for a team that is tender on the inside
Ayton, of course, spent his one collegiate season in Tucson playing for Sean Miller but also played at Hillcrest Prep in Phoenix the year prior.
In fact, the Suns have major ties with all three players that are considered the favorites to be selected in the top-three.
Real Madrid point forward Luka Doncic played for Kokoskov on the Slovenian national team, and Duke big man Marvin Bagley III also played high school ball in Phoenix, spending time at both Phoenix’s Hillcrest Prep and Tempe’s Corona Del Sol.
The NBA Draft Lottery is on May 15. The Suns hold the best odds to land the No. 1 overall selection at 25 percent.