ESPN: UA’s Deandre Ayton best fit for Suns if they draft No. 1

May 14, 2018, 2:37 PM

Utah forward David Collette (13) defends against Arizona forward Deandre Ayton (13) in the second h...

Utah forward David Collette (13) defends against Arizona forward Deandre Ayton (13) in the second half during an NCAA college basketball game Thursday, Jan. 4, 2018, in Salt Lake City. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

(AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

The Phoenix Suns finished the 2017-18 NBA season with the worst record in the NBA, giving them favorable odds to land the first overall pick in the upcoming NBA Draft.

But as Suns fans have become accustomed to in recent years, seeing Phoenix drop below the No. 1 pick would not come as much of a surprise.

The Suns have a 25 percent chance to draw the first pick in the NBA Draft Lottery on Tuesday, along with a 64.2 percent chance to pick somewhere in the top-3.

ESPN’s Jonathan Givony and Mike Schmitz believe Arizona center Deandre Ayton is the best fit for Phoenix’s needs at No. 1 overall, with Real Madrid point forward Luka Doncic close behind should the Suns draw the No. 2 pick.

Doncic is an excellent fit on this roster and has built-in chemistry with newly appointed head coach Igor Kokoskov, under whom he won the EuroBasket championship this past summer. Still, it will be difficult to dislodge Ayton from atop this perch, and there is a great deal of need for a dominant center on Phoenix’s roster as well, with Alex Len entering unrestricted free agency and Tyson Chandler nearing the end of his career.

Under head coach Sean Miller, Ayton dominated the college ranks for the Wildcats, earning the Pac-12 player and freshman of the year awards. He was also one of three freshman named to the AP All-America Team.

Doncic’s history with new Suns head coach Igor Kokoskov on the Slovenian national team should be appealing to Suns fans, especially when taking into consideration Kokoskov’s proven track record of developing talent in the NBA.

But who should the Suns consider taking should they fall below the second pick in the draft?

According to Givony, the Suns should continue to look at the center position with Michigan State’s Jaren Jackson Jr. or Texas’ Mohamed Bamba.

The Suns were the worst defensive team in the NBA last year, and Ayton (or Doncic) won’t provide immediate relief in that area, which could make Jackson or even Mohamed Bamba possibilities to consider should they slip on lottery night.

The Suns will host a NBA Draft Lottery viewing party at Talking Stick Resort Arena on Tuesday.

Doors open at 4 p.m., but the order is not expected to be revealed until approximately 5:20 p.m.

Burns & Gambo will be airing their daily show live from Suns headquarters on 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station.

Phoenix Suns

Shawn Marion and Amare Stoudemire of the Suns...

Arizona Sports

36 unbothered: Shawn Marion, Amar’e Stoudemire mend relationship with Suns

Shawn Marion and Amar'e Stoudemire will go into the Phoenix Suns Ring of Honor this year, finally, thanks to an ownership change.

11 hours ago

Bol Bol #10 of the Orlando Magic in action against the Chicago Bulls during the first half at Unite...

Kellan Olson

The if of the 5th: Chaotic possibilities for Phoenix Suns with starting Bol Bol

The Phoenix Suns would be embracing chaos by using Bol Bol as a fifth starter, an idea that has both serious pros and cons.

17 hours ago

Yuta Watanabe #18 and Kevin Durant #7 of the Brooklyn Nets react during the third quarter against t...

Kellan Olson

The if of the 5th: Yuta Watanabe would maximize Phoenix Suns’ spacing

Yuta Watanabe as the fifth starter would make the Phoenix Suns' offense even more nuclear but bring more questions defensively.

1 day ago

Deandre Ayton #22 of the Phoenix Suns looks on in the third quarter against the Indiana Pacers at G...

Arizona Sports

Deandre Ayton posts love for the Valley as Portland beckons

A little more than 24 hours since he was traded to the Portland Trailblazers, Dominayton sent his thanks to the Valley via Instagram.

1 day ago

Josh Okogie, Phoenix Suns...

Kevin Zimmerman

The if of the 5th: Josh Okogie’s on-ball duties could be Suns’ priority

Will Josh Okogie be the Phoenix Suns' fifth starter? His on-ball defense is something Frank Vogel will like.

2 days ago

Grayson Allen #12 of the Milwaukee Bucks shoots against the Washington Wizards at Capital One Arena...

Kellan Olson

Grayson Allen, Nassir Little bolster depth, unearth Suns’ trade flexibility

The Phoenix Suns' haul for Deandre Ayton included two off-ball perimeter players that could become key role players this season.

2 days ago

ESPN: UA’s Deandre Ayton best fit for Suns if they draft No. 1