Sunrise: Phoenix Selects Ayton With Top Overall Pick

For five weeks the Phoenix Suns didn’t show their cards. Thursday afternoon they didn’t waste any time passing their draft card to NBA Commissioner Adam Silver with Deandre Ayton’s name on it.

“I’m really happy to be a part of the Phoenix Suns now,” Ayton said to ESPN shortly after the pick. “We can really start a winning legacy with Devin Booker and Josh Jackson and all those other guys. We’re a young team and we’re ready.”

The former University of Arizona star, who was seen out in New York City earlier in the week signing purple Suns’ #13 jerseys, becomes the first overall draft pick in franchise history.

The 7-foot-1, 250-pounder only worked out for the Suns leading up to the draft.

“Deandre is a special player and we are thrilled to welcome him home to Phoenix,” Suns General Manager Ryan McDonough said in a release. “It is extremely rare for a player with his size, length and athleticism to be not only able to finish around the rim but also step away from the basket and make shots.”

During his only season in Tucson, the former Hillcrest Academy standout earned Pac-12 Player of the Year honors leading UofA to a conference tournament championship. 

The consensus first-team All-American averaged 20.1 points, 11.6 rebounds and two blocks per game. Ayton also shot 61% from the field and 73% from the free throw line.

He will be introduced to the Phoenix media on Friday.

 

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.