Deandre Ayton will work out for ‘no one else’ after meeting with Suns
Deandre Ayton believes he’ll be the top pick in the 2018 NBA Draft.
He’s banking that the Phoenix Suns taking him with the first overall pick is a done deal. Ayton said his workout Wednesday in Phoenix was his first and only formal meeting with a team prior to the draft.
He said he’ll work out for “no one else.”
“I know I’m going number one,” he added.
It wasn’t because the Suns told him he’ll be drafted first. General manager Ryan McDonough said the team will continue working out potential No. 1 picks through Sunday.
“Nobody told me (I’ll go first),” Ayton said. “That’s just me. I think I deserve that. I’ve worked hard.
“I won’t say I’m the best player. I won’t say that,” Ayton added. “I will say on the competitive level, I’m the best competitor.”
Ayton went to high school in Phoenix and has been training in the area since leaving the Arizona Wildcats after a freshman season in which he averaged 20.1 points, 11.6 rebounds and 1.9 blocks per game. In an April radio interview with CBS’s Tiki and Tierney, he said he could see himself playing for the Suns and forming a duo with shooting guard Devin Booker.
“Honestly, for my mother, I could see myself in Phoenix,” he said. “I could see a little Shaq and Kobe 2.0.”
On Wednesday, McDonough said Ayton will spend the evening watching the NBA Finals with potential Suns teammates in Booker and Josh Jackson, among others. The general manager said Ayton’s jumper stood out in an hour-long, one-on-none workout.
That the 7-footer already has a connection with the city of Phoenix only helps the Suns as they consider him as the top pick.
“It’s great, it’s great. We take that obviously as a complement,” McDonough said. “He has a lot of strong ties to this area. He’s been working out here, he’s been training here … The fact that he wants to be here, that’s great.”