Suns exercise rookie-scale options on Ayton, Bridges

Suns center DeAndre Ayton averaged a double-double as a rookie.

The Phoenix Suns have exercised the rookie-scale contract options on second-year center DeAndre Ayton and second-year swingman Mikal Bridges, according to Shams Charania of Stadium.

Ayton was the No. 1 overall pick in the 2018 draft and has received rave reviews from coaches and his teammates leading into the season. Along with shooting guard Devin Booker, Ayton is viewed as young cornerstone for the franchise.

Ayton averaged 16.3 points and 10.3 rebounds in 71 games, a rare double-double average for a rookie.

The Suns finished 19-63 last season, then hired Monty Williams as coach and selected small forward Cam Johnson with the  No. 11 draft pick and landed Ty Jerome at No. 24.

New general manager James Jones also signed point guard Ricky Rubio and centers Aron Baynes and Frank Kaminsky in free agency, and acquired forward Dario Saric in a trade.