Photo: Brad Penner - USA TODAY Sports

Ayton goes to Suns first overall at NBA Draft

DeAndre Ayton stays in Arizona as he is taken by the Phoenix Suns with the first pick

June 22, 2018 - 10:14 am

The 2018 NBA Draft featured some drama on Thursday night in Brooklyn, but it certainly lacked the drama of last year’s draft, which saw Jimmy Butler, Zach LaVine, Dwight Howard, and the first overall pick being traded.

After winning the NBA Draft  Lottery, the Phoenix Suns stayed in state to select Arizona center DeAndre Ayton first overall. After the selection, the UB men’s basketball Twitter account was quick to remind Ayton of his final college game.

At second overall, the Sacramento Kings picked forward/center Marvin Bagley III out of Duke. The Atlanta Hawks selected Slovenian guard Luka Doncic third overall, but then made the most notable trade of the day when they immediately traded Doncic to the Dallas Mavericks for the fifth overall pick and a future first rounder.

After the Memphis Grizzlies selected Michigan State’s Jaren Jackson Jr. with the fourth pick, Atlanta used the fifth pick on star Oklahoma point guard Trae Young. Young divided fans and analysts alike in the build up to the draft, with some believing him to be the next Steph Curry and others projecting him as a bust comparable to Jimmer Fredette. After becoming the only player to ever lead college basketball in scoring and assists, Young will get a chance to lead the Hawks as their new face of the franchise.

The rest of the top-10 went like this:

  1. Phoenix Suns - DeAndre Ayton, C, Arizona
  2. Sacramento Kings - Marvin Bagley III, PF/C, Duke
  3. Atlanta Hawks - Luka Doncic, G, Slovenia/Real Madrid (traded to Dallas)
  4. Memphis Grizzlies – Jaren Jackson Jr., PF/C, Michigan State
  5. Dallas Mavericks — Trae Young, PG, Oklahoma (traded to Hawks)
  6. Orlando Magic — Mohamed Bamba, C, Texas
  7. Chicago Bulls — Wendell Carter Jr., C, Duke
  8. Cleveland Cavaliers (via Brooklyn Nets) — Collin Sexton, PG, Alabama
  9. New York Knicks — Kevin Knox, SF/PF, Kentucky
  10. Philadelphia 76ers (via Los Angeles Lakers) — Mikal Bridges, SG/SF, Villanova (traded to Suns)

Mikal Bridges had a rollercoaster night after being selected by the 76ers. Bridges, a Philadelphia native and national champion at Villanova, was thrilled to be selected by his hometown team. He even completed a 45-minute press conference as a 76er.

“It’s a great feeling to get picked by the Sixers,” Bridges said. “Just watching them, especially this year, growing up watching them, going to games when I was young, it’s a blessing. My mom working there, went to Villanova right around the corner, played in Wells Fargo throughout the whole year this year. It’s just truly a blessing.”

However, Bridges was traded immediately after the press conference to the Suns for Zaire Smith, the 16th overall selection from Texas Tech, and a 2021 first round pick.

Other notable draft picks include Missouri forward Michael Porter Jr. dropping to Denver at 14th overall, Duke star Grayson Allen to Utah at 21st overall, and Dayton forward Kostas Antetokounmpo, brother of Milwaukee’s Giannis Antetokounmpo, went to Houston with the last pick of the draft before being traded to Dallas.

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