Did Suns make the right pick with Deandre Ayton over Luka Doncic? 2018 NBA Draft decision looms large in 2022 play stephen curry most popular shoes offs
NBA Getty Images Why did the Suns draft Deandre Ayton over Luka Doncic? The Suns had a choice in 2018: draft for fit or draft the best p NBA iPhone Accessorieslayer NBA golden state warriors jerseys Pajamas available. They opted for the former. That's actually as simple as it can be broken down for
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Deandre Ayton was taken first overall in the 2018 NBA Draft by the Phoenix Suns. His selection continues to be a controversial topic even now in 2022, as he was picked ahead of both Luka Doncic (3rd pick) and Trae Young (5th).
It may seem strange now g Klay Thompson iven how well we know Doncic has turned out to be, but leading into the 2018 draft there were questions surrounding how good he might actually be in the NB NBA Sweatpants A, and whether his ceiling was more Hedo Turkoglu than franchise-altering player.
Obviously, Young has also gone on to do wonderful things with the Atlanta Hawks, but Doncic is considered a generational player.
With the Suns and Mavs now set to face each other in the Western Conference Semifinals, it's time to revisit the 2018 NBA Draft and try to figure out if the Suns made the right choice in steph curry klay shirt selecting Ayton over Doncic.
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Why did the Suns draft Deandre Ayton over Luka Doncic?
The Suns had a choice in 2018: draft for fit or draft the best p NBA iPhone Accessorieslayer NBA Pajamas available. They opted for the former.
That's actually as simple as it can be broken down for the franchise.
The Suns were still two seasons away from securing the services of the Point God, Chris Paul, but had been building their team around budding superstar guard Devin Booker.
Booker, a player who can play both on and off the ball but is primarily a scorer, was coming off a career year in 2017-18 and was looked upon as one of the franchise's cornerstones of the future. Drafting a player like Doncic may not have fit next to Booker as Doncic would have been both the primary playmaker and scorer.
Phoenix had faith in Booker's development and did not want to alter the makeup of its team by hindering his progress playing alongside a ball-dominant guard.
The Suns wanted a perfect fit for their star shooting guard's talents.
Speaking with Basketball Network, former Suns scout Antonio Williams discussed part of the decision-making process when it came to moving towards Ayton ahead of Doncic or Young.
“With Deandre, one of the things was, you look at the things that he does at his size, when you combine the athleticism and the dexterity and the agility there are just things he can just roll out of bed and do," Williams said.
"Of course, we knew Luka and Trae Young were going to be great, but when we’re looking at Deandre again, there are just things that we felt he inherently can just roll out of bed and do that we didn’t have on our roster.”
Drafting an old-school center in a modern NBA at number one overall was a bold move, but again, the Suns were adding pieces and making sure they fit the puzzle they were trying to assemble.
Ayton averaged 16.3 points and 10.3 rebounds mitchell and ness ste NBA Polo Shirts phen curry jersey in his rookie season, but the Suns won just 19 games and Doncic raced away to a Rookie of the Year award, averaging 21.2 points, 7.8 rebounds and 6.0 assists. Doncic's award win again raised some questions as to whether the Suns made the right pick, but they remained steadfast in their approach to building a contender.
Booker, as expected, has benefitted from playing with Ayton as the Bahamian center is the perfect screen and roll man with the shooting guard.
The addition of Paul in 2020, though, was a game-changer for the squad.
It relegated Ayton to the third option on the team, but he has thrived in stephen curry height without shoes that role. In turn, the Suns are thriving as a team. They made the NBA Finals in Paul's first season in Phoenix, losing to the Milwaukee Bucks in six games.
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Did the Suns make the right choice selecting Ayton over Doncic?
The two players will be inextricably linked until their careers are over.
Doncic continues to trend towards generational player status, but he has only been out of the first round of the playoffs once (hello, 2022 playoffs!). He is a star, however, that is capable of dropping a triple-double on any given night and carrying a team on his back.
Doncic averaged 28.4 points, 9.1 rebounds and 8.7 assists per game this past regular season, powering the Mavericks to a fourth seed after the team tra warriors 75th anniversary jersey ded away Kristaps Porzingis at the trade deadline.
Ayton, meanwhile, is playing on a team that has been to the Finals and is a favorite to get back there.
When we're considering whether the Suns made the correct selection or not, we have to take into account the team's needs at the time and their success moving forward. In which case, yes, they selected the correct player to help complete their (hopefully) championship puzzle. If the Suns manage to win a title this season, the narrative that they somehow "missed" on Doncic will have been made redundant.
The biggest concern for Phoenix will be this summer when Ayton becomes a restricted free agent after Suns owner Robert Sarver declined to offer the center a five-year, $172.5 million extension to his rookie deal.
Ironically, Sarver believes that Ayton isn't in the same tier as Doncic and Young.
Overall, it's safe to say that while Doncic is the better player, Ayton has been a perfect fit for the Suns so far. How it plays out from here remains to be seen.