NBA Draft 2018: Suns select Deandre Ayton No. 1 overall
Deandre Ayton told everyone he was going to be the first pick in the 2018 NBA Draft, and he was right.
The Phoenix Suns stayed in state Thursday, taking the Arizona center No. 1 overall to team with Devin Booker, Elfrid Payton, Dragan Bender and Josh Jackson. A college freshman has now been selected No. 1 overall in nine straight drafts. The last non-freshman drafted first overall was Blake Griffin in 2009.
Ayton told reporters earlier this month after working out with the Suns that he would not workout for any other teams because he knew he was going to be selected by Phoenix.
Recent reports suggest Bagley will likely be the pick. The 19-year-old prospect faces positional and defensive questions, but he was one of the most productive players in college basketball last season. He would immediately become Sacramento’s best frontcourt prospect.
Real Madrid’s Luka Doncic also remains as an option despite reports general manager Vlade Divac isn’t a fan. Divac, owner Vivek Ranadive and others met with Doncic in Spain earlier this month. There’s a chance Divac and the rest of the Kings’ front office are pulling off an impressive rope-a-dope strategy here by spreading disinformation regarding their feelings for Doncic.
The Hockey Hall of Fame selection committee hasn’t lacked for baffling decisions in the Builders category, like the interminable waits for Fred Shero, Pat Burns and Willie O’Ree in comparison to the vote-rigged (and subsequently scuttled) election of NHL president Gil Stein. Their selection of Gary Bettman for the Class of 2018 surprised even the commissioner himself, not to mention legions of NHL fans who found the decision to be abhorrent.
There have been two general reactions to the news. One of them is reasonable, and one of them is ignorant of the facts.
Let’s start, as is our wont, with the ignorance. Gary Bettman is a Hall of Famer, full stop. I chronicled his case in my look at the Good, the Bad and the Ugly of Bettman during the 25th anniversary of his commissionership. The Builders are selected for contributions to his or her organization or organizations and to the game of hockey in general. With Bettman at the helm, the NHL grew exponentially in size, in scope and in revenue (as his job dictates).