Arizona’s Ayton confident he’ll be drafted first

Arizona big man DeAndre Ayton is the top overall pick on many NBA draft boards.

The Phoenix Suns have the first overall selection in the NBA Draft. DeAndre Ayton is a talented center who played his lone year of college ball at Arizona.

They feel like the perfect match.

Actually, Ayton felt as if he would be the No. 1 pick before Tuesday’s lottery, won by the Suns. He didn’t back down from that belief when interviewed by ESPN shortly before the picks were revealed.

“It just shows where my hard work is going,” he said, wearing a suit and smiling widely.

Ayton is a 7-footer and hails from the Bahamas. He is well-spoken, extremely athletic and can put the ball on the floor and get to the basket. He is an accomplished shotblocker as well.

Ayton will likely be able to shift between power forward and center like so many of today’s NBA big men.

On the plus side for the Suns, Ayton told Scott Bordown the Arizona Republic he would “love to be drafted by the Suns and play alongside (star shooting guard) Devin Booker.”

Ayton very well could get his wish. According to most of the mainstream mock drafts, the only other potential top pick is Slovenian swingman Luka Doncic. But the Suns would have to really love Doncic to take him over a multi-talented big man who played his college ball in the Suns’ home state.

“Adding Ayton to a core that already includes Booker and Josh Jackson could create more optimism than we have seen from this franchise in a long time,” wrote Rob Goldberg of Bleacher Report. “However, the Suns have plenty of options between Ayton, Doncic, Marvin Bagley III, Jaren Jackson Jr. and more.”