By Kyle Madson – Sports 1140 KHTK Morning Host
Top NBA draft prospect DeAndre Ayton attempted to remove some doubt about who the Phoenix Suns will take with the No. 1 overall pick in this year’s draft. He told a group of reporters in Phoenix that he’s certain he’ll be the first selection on June 21.
Ayton (7-foot-1, 250 pounds) was the consensus No. 1 overall selection after he averaged 20.1 points on 61.2 percent shooting with 11.6 rebounds and 1.9 blocks during his freshman campaign at the University of Arizona. Questions about his defense, and typical pre-draft rumors, generated some speculation that he may not go with the top pick.
It’s not a lock quite yet that Phoenix will pick the Pac-12 Player of the Year. He clarified to reporters that the Suns didn’t tell him he’s their pick, rather his mindset is that he’ll go first. On the other hand, he said the Suns were his first and only pre-draft workout.
If Ayton’s speculation is true and the Suns have all but announced their pick, that puts the Kings on the clock with at least a little more clarity about what their options are at No. 2.
The Suns taking the Arizona big man first overall wouldn’t be a surprise, and Sacramento is probably already operating under the assumption they won’t have the opportunity to draft him. However, his assertion that he’s going to be the top pick, and his declaration that he won’t participate in any more pre-draft workouts is a decent indicator that he won’t be available when Sacramento is on the clock with the second pick.