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The Phoenix Suns finished with the NBA’s worst record and were rewarded accordingly.
That’s not always the case in the annual draft lottery. But the Suns didn’t beat the odds — they kept them, winning the rights to the No. 1 overall pick.
It’s the first time in the franchise’s 50-year history that the Suns will draft first.
“This is a historic night for the Phoenix Suns,” general manager Ryan McDonough said in a prepared statement. “Those of us in the room in Chicago felt the tension, then it was an unbelievable feeling to see it revealed that we received the No. 1 selection.
“In the illustrious history of the franchise, we’ve never had the first overall pick and to bring it home in such a loaded draft at an important point in time for our franchise, it’s incredible.”
The Suns finished the season 21-61 under after firing coach Earl Watson and replacing him with interim man Jay Triano. A few weeks ago, they hired Utah Jazz assistant Igor Kokoskov as their new coach.
Projected No. 1 overall picks include Arizona center DeAndre Ayton and Slovenian swingman Luke Doncic.
“I’ll let you know June 21,” McDonough said, referring to the day of the draft. “I know people jump to conclusions about who it’s going to be but we don’t know yet.”
Last year’s top pick, point guard Markelle Fultz, struggled with the Philadelphia 76ers after suffering a mysterious shoulder injury. The year before that it was swingman Ben Simmons, who played great for the Sixers this season. And before that it was Karl-Anth0ny Towns of the Minnesota Timberwolves, who has put together three very good years.
So basically, it’s a crapshoot.
But it’s one the Suns will be happy to take. For the first time in draft history, they get to say they’re No. 1.
The entire lottery portion of the draft looks like this:
- Phoenix Suns
- Sacramento Kings
- Atlanta Hawks
- Memphis Grizzlies
- Dallas Mavericks
- Orlando Magic
- Chicago Bulls
- Cleveland Cavaliers
- New York Knicks
- Philadelphia 76ers (from Los Angeles Lakers)
- Charlotte Hornets
- Los Angeles Clippers (from Detroit Pistons)
- Los Angeles Clippers
- Denver Nuggets