Ayton arrives as symbol that Suns are on the rise

Deandre Ayton played a lot of Fortnite before NBA draft to calm his nerves

A few looks at social media confirmed that I'm not insane (take that, my therapist), and also not the only one to cringe at every forced player comparison made and blatantly-misguided interview question asked. Ultimately, the draft will play itself out over years, but it's still fun to make.

Phoenix finished 2017-18 an NBA-worst 21-61, but it has young talent in high-scoring guard Booker and 21-year-old Jackson, the fourth overall pick last year. ESPN should not only highlight these newcomers but should provide insightful basketball analysis, instead of reality-TV content.

The Kentucky point guard became the latest Canadian lottery pick on Thursday night when he landed with the Los Angeles Clippers, the team that wanted him most all along and one that he felt comfortable with. Miami historically has been a stable and well-run franchise from the top down. Instead, the well-known highlights of each player were reiterated with little acknowledgement of where the players were headed. While breaking down the pick, on-air analysts started to compare Ayton to Joel Embiid.

With another big-time recruiting class entering Durham in 2018, the Blue Devils will look at add to its record numbers in the 2018 NBA Draft and beyond.

In the immediate moments following the announced destination of each prospect, the chance to talk NBA basketball was missed.

But Ayton is used to playing with other skilled athletes: At Hillcrest Prep, he briefly played with Marvin Bagley III, a Duke University player who went No. 2 in the draft behind Ayton. Ayton flashed his vast potential and later that summer moved to San Diego to attend Balboa City School. Perhaps the aspect of time between picks hampored any detailed analysis, so maybe the section of the show devoted to player introductions should've been a time for actual National Basketball Association commentary. Then came the night's first bit of drama. Walker was viewed as a potential lottery pick by some.

A last-minute trade had Phoenix draft Texas Tech guard Zhaire Smith at No. 16, sending him to the Philadelphia 76ers in exchange for Villanova swingman Mikal Bridges, their 10th overall pick.

"It felt like I knew him for years, and it's insane". Pick No. 30, Omari Spellman out of Villanova, is a stretch-4 that knocked down 43 percent of his 3-pointers last season. Billups had to have done some preparation for the top prospects and their comparisons, and obviously it's uncertain how every draftee will turn out, but some of his choices made it seem like he was drawing names out of segregated hats. The rookie joins an offense that's ranked near the bottom of the league in Pace each of the last two seasons, but the team continues to get younger, and Doncic's terrific passing is going to give Dallas an entirely new feel in 2018/19. While the jury remains out on the Suns' pair of top-10 picks from the 2016 draft, Dragan Bender (#4) and Marquese Chriss (#8), the trio of Bender, Jackson and T.J. Warren should pair well with the newcomers. "You don't always see it in professional sports", Rowley said.

For Ayton, the expectations that accompany the first pick were evident. "Going through the process of going to the U of A and the fans support me, it was just phenomenal".

Phoenix needs the help on both ends of the floor.

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