Clark Kellogg: Ayton A Slam Dunk Choice For Suns

With the NBA draft just over two weeks away, Clark Kellogg appears to be leaning with the general consensus when it comes to the Phoenix Suns and their coveted number one overall pick.

“If I was choosing, I like Deandre Ayton,” the CBS college basketball analyst said to Sports360AZ.com’s Brad Cesmat in a phone interview Tuesday morning. “He’s a remarkable athlete for a guy of his size. He has a pretty good skill level, too. Nice touch. Can step out and shoot it and he’s an excellent rebounder.”

Kellogg feels the one-year wonder at Arizona has one of the most unique skill sets in the draft. At 7-feet-1 and weighing 250 points Ayton possesses attributes rarely seen for a player his size. He used the term “more refined game” when comparing him to Marvin Bagley.

“Ayton is a true [center] who has unique skill and also the ability to be an outstanding defensive player,” he said. 

While most of Ayton’s critics point to his defensive shortcomings during his one season at UofA, Kellogg opts to flip the script and look at his high ceiling, particularly due to his natural athletic gifts and fluidity defending smaller players on the perimeter using his lateral quickness in college.

“He’s mobile enough to be an outstanding five-man even in today’s game,” he said.

Scouting Bagley

Kellogg also weighed in on the NBA upside of former Corona del Sol and Duke star Bagley who is expected to go off the board not long after Ayton.

“Bagley is fantastic in terms of his quickness, his rebounding,” the long-time analyst explained. “He’s got a great motor…Bagley is a work-in-progress defensively but on the glass and in the open court I think he’s a guy that can bring a lot of value.”

The draft will take place Thursday, June 21st at the Barclays Center in New York City.

A Valley native, Eric has had a passion for the Arizona sports scene since an early age. He has covered some of the biggest events including Super Bowls, national championships and the NBA and MLB playoffs in his near 20 years in local media.