Ninety minutes after Suns drafted Ayton, Philly’s Embiid tweeted at him
Jun 21, 2018, 6:57 PM | Updated: Jun 22, 2018, 6:00 pm
Phoenix Suns draft pick Deandre Ayton didn’t even have time to sign his first NBA contract before he got a rival.
Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid called out the No. 1 overall pick in the NBA Draft over Twitter on draft night.
Don’t compare Ayton to me either… I play DEFENSE
— Joel Embiid (@JoelEmbiid) June 22, 2018
A common criticism of Ayton coming out of college has been his defense. He struggled at times playing power forward for Arizona, and his block numbers are well below other bigs taken in the lottery, particularly Jaren Jackson, Jr. (Grizzlies) and Mo Bamba (Magic).
The Suns are betting that by moving Ayton back to his natural center position, he’ll be able to discover proper technique and grow as a defender as he matures.
Embiid, picked No. 3 overall in 2014, is one of the finalists for NBA Defensive Player of the Year this year. He helped anchor a dominant 76ers defense in 2017.
Golden State Warriors forward/center Draymond Green, also known for trash talking, got involved too.
👑👑👑👑👑👑 you got the crown man 😂😂😂😂😂 https://t.co/70ldUFAy2b
— Draymond Green (@Money23Green) June 22, 2018
It’s unclear if there’s distaste between the two or if Embiid is just trolling – he’s become a figure for tweeting at anyone from the former 76ers general manager’s wife’s fake Twitter account to Rihanna – but either way, it’s a loud welcome to the league for the 19-year-old Ayton.
He got a warmer hello from the Arizona sports scene.
The Wildcats basketball Twitter account and the Suns shared a moment.
— Phoen1x Šuns (@Suns) June 21, 2018
The Arizona Cardinals also tweeted their support.
— Arizona Cardinals (@AZCardinals) June 21, 2018
Right around first pitch in Pittsburgh, the Arizona Diamondbacks told Ayton that he can throw the first pitch when they’re back home.
— Arizona Diamondbacks (@Dbacks) June 21, 2018