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For the first time in history, the Phoenix Suns possess the No. 1 pick in the NBA Draft, and there are several players they can select who would change their franchise for the better. There is a general consensus around the league from analysts however that they will select either the talented, young Slovenian guard Luka Doncic or the athletic big man from Arizona, Deandre Ayton.
Ayton is a physical specimen who can contribute from the inside or outside and should be an NBA star. According to USA TODAY Sports, Suns forward Josh Jackson said that if the decision was up to him, he would take Ayton first overall, saying, “his ceiling is through the roof.”
It’s hard to watch Ayton’s film and be convinced that he’s not the best player in this class.
Look at how confident he is in the post here. As he rolls toward the baseline, he gives a quick head fake to manipulate future lottery pick Robert Williams and get the easy bucket. He’s not just patient in the post, but comfortable as well.
This is one of my favorite Ayton plays because it speaks to his effort and his ball skills. Ayton goes up and misses the baby hook, but is able to use his size to tap the ball back to himself so he can finish off the possession. Not every player would show this kind of effort in a game where their team was up 21 late in the second half. I think this speaks to who Ayton is as a player and his attitude when he steps on the court.
Another thing to note about Ayton is his passing ability. He’s not just a gifted scorer, he has the capacity to be a playmaker as well.
Ayton is a consistent player who was the force behind the Wildcats from day one last year. He has elite physical gifts and is the kind of big man that can affect all facets of the game.
If it’s not Ayton, Doncic is the top player in this class and has been called the best European prospect in history. The Suns seemed pretty excited about winning the lottery last night and it looks like they may have already made up their minds on who to take.
He’s a smooth guard who is as comfortable setting up his teammates as he is attacking the rim himself. Even though he’s young, he’s shown off his ability as a floor general and is dangerous in the half court.
He's has incredible vision, and with his shooting ability to compliment that, Doncic should be absolutely filthy at running the pick and roll.
He's comfortable playing either guard position, so make sure not to give him any space, because he will make you pay.
I haven't been this excited about a foreign prospect since Kristaps Porzingis, and I think that he will have a long and successful NBA career full of runs to the basket like this one.
It's definitely a tough decision but I don't think there's a wrong answer. Both Ayton and Doncic should have successful NBA careers and I think it's going to come down to who the Suns feel would operate better in their system and with their stars like Jackson and Devin Booker.
I've always been a little skeptical of European prospects but Doncic may be the one to change that forever for me. I would go with Ayton however because I think he's someone who doesn't have many weaknesses in his game and can anchor the Suns' frontcourt for years to come.