NBA No. 1 draft pick Ayton has Suns shining bright

Published 9:59 pm Thursday, June 21, 2018

NEW YORK (AP) — The Phoenix Suns stayed close to home for their first No. 1 pick. The Dallas Mavericks looked all the way to Slovenia for the player they hope can be their next European superstar.
Shortly after the Suns took Deandre Ayton to start the NBA draft Thursday night, the Mavericks traded up two spots for the rights to Luka Doncic.
The Atlanta Hawks swapped the rights to Doncic, the No. 3 pick who has spent the last year winning championships all over Europe, to Atlanta for Trae Young, the No. 5 selection from Oklahoma.
The Mavericks also gave up a future first-round pick to draft Doncic, who only arrived in New York on Wednesday after helping Spain’s Real Madrid win its league championship after he won Euroleague MVP and Final Four MVP honors when they won that title this year.
His lengthy European season kept him from working out for teams but he knew the Mavericks were interested in having him on their team for what’s expected to be Dirk Nowitzki’s final NBA season.
“I’ve been talking to Dallas a lot. They really wanted me, and they were very, very nice,” the 19-year-old said. “They were very nice to me, and I think we had a very good relationship.”
The Hawks will get perhaps the most exciting player in college basketball last season in Young, the first player to lead the nation in scoring and assists in the same season.
“Whatever city I went to, I was going to be able to be comfortable in,” Young said. “I was just really excited to get to Atlanta.”
Otherwise, the top of the draft was dominated by big men, starting with a pair of former high school teammates.
The Suns made the 7-foot-1 Ayton the first No. 1 pick in franchise history. The center from Arizona averaged 20.1 points and 11.6 rebounds in his lone season in Tucson, tying for the national lead with 24 double-doubles in 35 games.
He joined Mychal Thompson — father of Golden State All-Star Klay Thompson — in 1978 as the only players from the Bahamas to be the No. 1 pick in the NBA draft.
“Having my name called to be the first pick for the Phoenix Suns was mind-blowing,” Ayton said. “Having all that confidence and leading up to that point when I saw Adam Silver came out, I was just waiting for my name, and when he called it, my mind went blank.”
The Sacramento Kings followed by taking Marvin Bagley III, the Duke big man who played with Ayton at Hillcrest Prep Academy in Phoenix in 2015-16.
With Jaren Jackson Jr. going fourth to Memphis, Texas center Mo Bamba going No. 6 to Orlando and Wendell Carter Jr. following to Chicago, it was an early run of big men in what’s increasingly become a perimeter-based league.
Then it was another guard with Alabama’s Collin Sexton going at No. 8 to Cleveland, triggering chants of Michael Porter Jr.’s name by Knicks fans who hoped they would take him with the No. 9 pick. But they ended up disappointed as New York went with Kentucky’s Kevin Knox.
“They booed (Kristaps) Porzingis (on draft night) and look where he is now. That’s the same mindset I’m going to have,” Knox said. “They can chant Michael Porter all they want. But they got Kevin Knox, and I’m willing to work and I’m willing to get better.”
With concerns over back problems that limited him to only three games at Missouri last season, Porter ended up falling all the way to Denver at No. 14, the last lottery position.
There was another trade among lottery teams, as the Charlotte Hornets sent the rights to No. 11 pick Shai Gilgeous-Alexander to the Clippers for No. 12 pick Miles Bridges and two future second-round picks.


National Basketball Association
Thursday’s Draft Selections
At Barclays Center, Brooklyn, N.Y.
1. Phoenix, Deandre Ayton, c, Arizona.
2. Sacramento, Marvin Bagley III, f, Duke.
3. a-Atlanta, Luka Doncic, g, Real Madrid (Spain).
4. Memphis, Jaren Jackson Jr., f, Michigan State.
5. a-Dallas, Trae Young, g, Oklahoma.
6. Orlando, Mohamed Bamba, c, Texas.
7. Chicago, Wendell Carter Jr., c, Duke.
8. Cleveland (from Brooklyn via Boston), Collin Sexton, g, Alabama.
9. New York, Kevin Knox, f, Kentucky.
10. b-Philadelphia (from LA Lakers via Phoenix), Mikal Bridges, f, Villanova.
11. c-Charlotte, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, g, Kentucky.
12. c-LA Clippers (from Detroit), Miles Bridges, f, Michigan State.
13. LA Clippers, Jerome Robinson, g, Boston College.
14. Denver, Michael Porter Jr., f, Missouri.
15. Washington, Troy Brown Jr., g, Oregon.
16. b-Phoenix (from Miami), Zhaire Smith, g, Texas Tech.
17. Milwaukee, Donte DiVincenzo, g, Villanova.
18. San Antonio, Lonnie Walker, g, Miami.
19. Atlanta (from Minnesota), Kevin Huerter, g, Maryland.
20. Minnesota (from Oklahoma City via Utah), Josh Okogie, g, Georgia Tech.
21. Utah, Grayson Allen, g, Duke.
22. Chicago (from New Orleans), Chandler Hutchison, f, Boise State.
23. Indiana, Aaron Holiday, g, UCLA.
24. Portland, Anfernee Simons, g, IMG Academy.
25. LA Lakers (from Cleveland), Moritz Wagner, c, Michigan.
26. Philadelphia, Landry Shamet, g, Wichita State.
27. Boston, Robert Williams III, c, Texas A&M.
28. Golden State, Jacob Evans, f, Cincinnati.
29. Brooklyn (from Toronto), Dzanan Musa, f, Cedevita (Croatia).
30. Atlanta (from Houston via LA Clippers), Omari Spellman, f, Villanova.
31. Phoenix, Elie Okobo, pg, Pau Orthez, France
32. Memphis, Jevon Carter, pg, West Virginia
33. Dallas, Jalen Brunson, pg, Villanova
34. Atlanta, Devonte Graham, pg, Kansas
35. Orlando, Melvin Frazier, sf, Tulane
36. New York (from Chicago via Oklahoma City), Mitchell Robinson, c, not available
37. Sacramento, Gary Trent, sg, Duke
38. Philadelphia (from Brooklyn), Khyri Thomas, sg, Creighton
39. Philadelphia (from New York), Isaac Bonga, sf, Frankfurt, Germany
40. Brooklyn (from LA Lakers via Toronto via Orlando), Rodions Kurucs, pf, Barcelona, Spain
41. Orlando (from Charlotte via Phoenix via Memphis), Jarred Vanderbilt, sf, Kentucky
42. Detroit, Bruce Brown, sg, Miami
43. Denver (from LA Clippers via New York via Philadelphia), Justin Jackson, sg, Maryland
44. Washington, Issuf Sanon, pg, Olimpija, Serbia
45. Brooklyn (from Milwaukee), Hamidou Diallo, sg, Kentucky
46. Houston (from Miami via Memphis), De’Anthony Melton, pg, Southern California
47. LA Lakers (from Denver via Chicago via Utah), Sviatoslav Mykhailluk, sg, Kansas
48. Minnesota, Keita Bates-Diop, sf, Ohio State
49. San Antonio, Chimezie Metu, pf, Southern Cal
50. Indiana, Alize Johnson, pf, Missouri State
51. New Orleans, Tony Carr, pg, Penn State
52. Utah, Vincent Edwards, pf, Purdue
53. Oklahoma City, Devon Hall, sg, Virginia
54. Dallas (from Portland via Denver), Shake Milton, pg, Southern Methodist
55. Charlotte (from Cleveland via Brooklyn via Philadelphia), Arnoldas Kulboka, sf, Orlandina Basket, Italy
56. Philadelphia, Ray Spalding, pf, Louisville
57. Oklahoma City (from Boston), Kevin Hervey, sf, UT-Arlington
58. Denver (from Golden State), Thomas Welsh, c, UCLA
59. Phoenix (from Toronto), George King, g, Colorado
60. Philadelphia (from Houston), Kostas Antetokounmpo, pf, Dayton
Proposed Trades
a-Atlanta traded the rights of (No. 3) to Dallas for the rights of (No. 5) and a 2019 protected first-round pick.
b-Philadelphia traded the rights of (No. 10) to Phoenix for the rights to of (No. 16) and a 2021 first-round draft pick.
c-Charlotte traded the rights of (No. 11) to LA Clippers for the rights of (No. 12) and two future second-round picks.
d-Atlanta traded the rights of (No. 34) to Charlotte for two future second-round picks.
e-Sacramento traded the rights of (No. 37) to Portland for two future second-round picks and financial considerations.
f-Philadelphia traded the rights of (No. 38) to Detroit for two future second-round picks.
g-Orlando traded the rights of (No. 41) to Denver for the rights to (No. 43) and a future second-round pick.

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