Ayton arrives as symbol that Suns are on the rise

Hope Soto
June 26, 2018

Phoenix Suns' Elie Okobo, of France, answers a question as the team introduces its new players after the NBA basketball draft Friday, June 22, 2018, in Phoenix. Most of the expected lottery picks were featured walking down the stage with family members or friends alongside them, which is great for celebrating the players, except every player already gets plenty of camera time once the actual draft begins.

The Big Ten matched its four NCAA teams with four first-round draft picks.

"We were thinking this has to be the first time in history that one actual player under contract hasn't gotten traded", Raptors general manager Bobby Webster told reporters back in Toronto. The Mavericks are also sending a protected first-round pick to Atlanta.

At 6-foot-7 and 220 pounds, Doncic averaged about 15 points, five rebounds and five assists during Real Madrid's championship season.

With the hopes of making up from the awful trade they a made a year ago, the Denver Nuggets took a chance on drafting Missouri forward Michael Porter Jr.

The freefall is going to cost Porter some money.

In the least surprising outcome of the draft, Ayton led things off by landing in Phoenix and he'll be in a fantastic Rookie of the Year situation, to the point where betting markets see him as the favorite. Porter Jr.is only guaranteed $2.4 million.

Jackson went fourth overall, Bamba was sixth and Carter one back in seventh.

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"I think LeBron has more than earned the right to approach his contracts the way he does", Altman said Thursday night in an interview with ESPN. "Puma is the main brand and it's very affordable, and growing up around that brand, I'm used to that brand". The University of Arizona is just a couple of hours down Interstate 10. That's somewhat insane, and is also the nature of the draft.

Marvin Bagley III and Zhaire Smith also signed with Puma.

"I was just waiting for my name, and when he called it, my mind went blank", Ayton said.

The Suns never before had selected first overall in the draft, and with Ayton now on board, they hope not to do so again in the near future.

It all comes down to the uncertain futures of LeBron James and Kawhi Leonard, two of the league's top-five players, as well as salary cap caution that continues to be the fallout of the disastrous summer of 2016, which saw many teams splash cash around in weird fashion. He has the athleticism to become a better defender than he showed in college.

The global touch on this draft is already pronounced, with No. 1 pick Deandre Ayton being born in the Bahamas.

The Mavericks will be hoping the relationship with Doncic goes something like the one the franchise has had with Dirk Nowitzki over the past 20 years, as the German power forward has become one of the greatest players in National Basketball Association history - and the best European player ever.

Becoming the first overall pick in the 2018 NBA Draft is definitely the greatest accomplishment of Ayton's young career, but that won't stop people from taking shots at the talented center.

Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

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