Suns Favored to Select Deandre Ayton No. 1 Overall in NBA Draft

Monday, May 21, 2018 1:07 PM UTC

Monday, May. 21, 2018 1:07 PM UTC

The Phoenix Suns will pick first in the NBA Draft for the first time in franchise history, and BetOnline favors the team to take an in-state college star.

<p>The 2018 NBA Draft is Thursday, June 21 at 7 p.m. ET on ESPN from the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, and the Phoenix Suns will pick first overall for the first time in franchise history after winning the draft lottery – they had the best percentage (25) of winning the lottery after finishing with the league’s worst record at 21-61. The 2018 lottery was the last where the team with the worst record would have a 25 percent chance of winning it. Starting next year, the teams with the three worst records will each have a 14 percent chance as Commissioner Adam Silver tries to do something about all the tanking going on in his league. Some believe that the lottery changes will actually encourage more tanking, but that’s a story for another day.</p><p><a href=";book=BetOnline" rel="nofollow">BetOnline offers a few draft props currently</a>, and one is odds on the No. 1 overall pick. The favorite is Arizona freshman center Deandre Ayton at -700 (was -200). He would certainly make a ton of sense for the Suns and not just with the in-state angle. Ayton pretty clearly has the highest upside of any player. The 7-footer from the Bahamas was named both the Pac-12 Player of the Year and the Freshman of the Year. Only two other players had done that: Cal’s Shareef Abdur-Rahim in 1996 and UCLA’s Kevin Love in 2008. Ayton averaged 20.1 points, 11.6 rebounds and 1.9 blocks. <a href="">Arizona flopped again in the NCAA Tournament, however. </a>Ayton does have some work to do on defense, but he’s quite the specimen.</p><p style="text-align:center">[/]{"component":"video", "type":"youtube", "url":"", "videoSize":"Large" }[/]</p><p>The Suns had two centers on their 2017-18 roster in 34-year-old Tyson Chandler, whose best days are well behind him, and 23-year-old Alex Len, who hasn’t lived up to being the No. 5 overall pick in 2013. Chandler is under contract for one more season, while Len is set for unrestricted free agency after playing this past year on a one-year qualifying offer of $4.2 million. In five seasons, the 7-foot-1, 260-pound Len never once averaged double figures in scoring or rebounding. He won’t be back.</p><p>The second betting choice to go No. 1 overall is 19-year-old Slovenian point guard Luka Doncic at +300. He’s considered perhaps the top prospect ever to come out of Europe. He led Real Madrid to this year’s Euroleague title and was named the league’s MVP and Final Four MVP – the youngest player to win both awards in the second-best league in the world.</p><p>The Suns also have a connection to Doncic: Their new head coach, former Jazz assistant Igor Kokoskov, coached Slovenia and Doncic to the EuroBasket championship last year. The Suns reportedly will take Kokoskov’s input on the No. 1 overall pick, but it’s going to be GM Ryan McDonough’s decision. The Suns don’t want to put pressure on their new head coach by leaving the impression that he lobbied for or against Doncic.</p><p>McDonough, incidentally, has said he’s open to trading the No. 1 overall pick, but of course he would say that. It’s rather unlikely. "Our biggest team needs are at the point guard slot and at the 5," McDonough said, and staying at No. 1 gives him a choice between the highest-rated 5 (Ayton) and top point guard (Doncic). The other betting options are Michigan State forward Jaren Jackson Jr. at +3300 and any other player at +2000.</p><p><u><strong>First Round</strong></u></p><ul> <li>1. Phoenix</li> <li>2. Sacramento</li> <li>3. Atlanta</li> <li>4. Memphis</li> <li>5. Dallas</li> <li>6. Orlando</li> <li>7. Chicago</li> <li>8. Cleveland (from Brooklyn via Boston)</li> <li>9. New York</li> <li>10. Philadelphia (from Los Angeles Lakers via Phoenix)</li> <li>11.Charlotte</li> <li>12. LA Clippers (from Detroit)</li> <li>13. LA Clippers</li> <li>14. Denver</li> <li>15. Washington</li> <li>16. Phoenix (from Miami)</li> <li>17. Milwaukee</li> <li>18. San Antonio</li> <li>19. Atlanta (from Minnesota)</li> <li>20. Minnesota (from Oklahoma City via Utah)</li> <li>21. Utah</li> <li>22. Chicago (from New Orleans)</li> <li>23. Indiana</li> <li>24. Portland</li> <li>25. Los Angeles Lakers (from Cleveland)</li> <li>26. Philadelphia</li> <li>27. Boston</li> <li>28. Golden State</li> <li>29. Brooklyn (from Toronto)</li> <li>30. Atlanta (from Houston via LA Clippers)</li></ul><h2 style="text-align:center">Free NBA Pick: Ayton</h2><h2 style="text-align:center">Best Line Offered: <a href=";book=BetOnline" rel="nofollow">BetOnline</a></h2>
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