CHICAGO — The Phoenix Suns won the 2018 NBA draft lottery.
Arizona big man DeAndre Ayton is expected to be one of the first players selected next month. He averaged 20.1 points and 11.6 rebounds in his only season with the Wildcats, earning the Pac-12 Player of the Year award. The 7-foot center dominated the NCAA to the tune of 24 double doubles on the year, the second most by a freshman in Division I history, behind only Michael Beasley who recorded 28 in 2007-2008 for Kansas State.
Real Madrid’s Luka Doncic has been on NBA radars for a while, earning the 2016-17 EuroLeague Rising Star award while growing his game overseas. At 19, Doncic already has the type of professional experience that scouts salivate over as he transitions to the NBA. New Suns coach Igor Kokoskov coached Doncic as the pair helped lead Slovenia to a gold medal in last year’s European Championship.
Duke freshman Marvin Bagley III became the first Blue Devil in history to lead the ACC in scoring and rebounding, averaging 21.0 points and 11.1 rebounds a game. The 19-year-old helped lead Duke to the Elite Eight, becoming one of just five players in a major conference over the last 25 years to average 20+ points, 10+ rebounds and shoot 60 percent or higher from the field in a season. That list includes Ayton, who accomplished the same feat this season at Arizona, Oklahoma’s Blake Griffin (2008-09), Wake Forest’s Tim Duncan (1996-97) and Northwestern’s Evan Eschmeyer (1997-98).