NBA Draft Grade: Phoenix Suns get a B+ for picking Deandre Ayton No. 1 overall
It was never a secret, the Suns took Deandre Ayton No. 1 overall
The 2018 NBA Draft has a chance for a lot of chaos, but the Suns made sure to keep it simple at the very top. With the No. 1 overall pick in the draft, Phoenix selected Deandre Ayton out of Arizona. This has been expected for quite some time. Ayton worked out for the Suns and followed it up by saying
The usual misdirection attempts were mostly avoided. The Suns are clearly enthralled with the idea of having a dominant big man down low to build their team around. If Ayton can reach his maximum potential, that's exactly what the Suns are going to get. He has an insane athleticism and many scouts believe he has a high floor with an even higher ceiling.
CBS Sports NBA Draft Expert Reid Forgrave gave the Suns a B+ for the selection:
Ayton is the obvious pick. He's big and strong and has the tools to become a dominant offensive big man. He has the athleticism to become a better defender than he showed in college. He will fit well next to Devin Booker. But he probably doesn't have the most upside, and he's not the safest bet, either. And he presents the question of whether you want to build around a big man in today's NBA.
The reason Ayton went No. 1 overall is because of his boom potential. The upside on if he's a success is hard to pass up. Think of a franchise cornerstone type big man -- many champions have been anchored by them. It's a simple formula, but it's one that the Suns can believe in with Ayton's potential.
Offense is where Ayton makes his money. He shot 34 percent from 3-point range in college, an important skill to have in the modern NBA. He'll be able to set screens and then either pop out for a shot or use his athleticism to roll to the rim and scare the defense into collapsing. That is a pairing that should work wonders with someone like Devin Booker.
Phoenix doesn't really have a set system yet, especially with a new coach, but it's assumed that 3-point shooting and the pick-and-roll will be heavily involved. Any roster that includes Booker should be creating 3-point opportunities. The Suns just went out and got the best possible big man to complement that skill set.
The thing about going No. 1 overall is that Ayton will have expectations of carrying the Suns franchise. He's the savior of a team that finished with the worst offense and defense in the NBA last season. Those are heavy expectations for a 19 year old, but he just might have the ceiling to do that just. At worst, he should pair well with the other talented young players on Phoenix's roster.
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