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.
Want to get your content COMPLETELY AD FREE? Follow us on Apple News!
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.