Lakers News: LeBron James Praises DeAndre Ayton, Credits Suns For Making ‘Right’ Draft Pick
LeBron James, DeAndre Ayton
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

After securing the No. 1 overall pick in the NBA Draft for the first time in franchise history, the Phoenix Suns selected DeAndre Ayton who was a star freshman at the University of Arizona.

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He was named Pac-12 Player of the Year and the Pac-12 Freshman of the Year, averaging 20.1 points, 11.6 rebounds and 1.9 blocks for the Wildcats. Ayton’s 24 double-doubles tied for the second-most ever by a freshman in Division I history.

Phoenix also acquired the draft rights to Mikal Bridges, who with Ayton, was added to a roster that’s headlined by Devin Booker. The young Suns faced off against the Los Angeles Lakers on Wednesday but were run off the court in a 131-113 loss.

Booker exited due to a hamstring strain, though Ayton produced a double-double with 22 points and 11 rebounds. The effort impressed LeBron James, who studies opponents as much or nearly as much as his own teammates.

“I think he has a lot of talent,” James said. “He’s going to continue to get better and better. I think they chose right.”

It marked Ayton’s third double-double in four games this season, and his points were good for an early career high.

James and the Lakers will get their next look at Ayton on Dec. 2 when the Suns visit Staples Center.

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