Vegas odds suggest that 7-foot center Deandre Ayton may wind up playing the majority of his basketball career in the state of Arizona.
Ayton, the former five-star prospect who finished his high school career in Phoenix for Hillcrest Prep and played one year of college in Arizona, is a 5-to-14 favorite to be taken No. 1 overall in June, according to Bovada. The opening odds come just days after the Phoenix Suns won the NBA Draft lottery and secured the top overall pick.
EuroLeague star Luka Doncic is a close second to Ayton at 7-to-4 to get picked first overall. Yet after the 19-year-old rising star said Thursday that he's stillfor the NBA, Ayton certainly seems like the safest pick. Even though the payout wouldn't be as great as Doncic or any other player (17-to-2) going No. 1, Vegas seems to think Ayton going first overall is pretty likely to happen.
The wild card in all of this, however, is Igor Kokoškov, the new Suns coach who coached Doncic on the Slovenian national team that won EuroBasket in 2017. Kokoškov has a strong connection to the Real Madrid star, and Doncic's 6-foot-6 frame that comes equipped with scoring, ball-handling and tantalizing potential makes him the intriguing dark horse candidate to be the first selected in the 2018 NBA Draft.