2018 NBA Draft
It’ll be the Phoenix Suns that have the first selection in the 2018 NBA Draft tonight at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, NY. It appears that the Suns will take a peek just 113 miles southeast of the Valley of the Sun to my current home in Tucson, AZ for their selection. Yes, DeAndre Ayton after a one-and-done season with the Arizona Wildcats will make his presence felt when he is taken No. 1 overall by Phoenix. This 19-year-old who’ll turn 20 in just over a month, listed at 7-foot-1 and 260 pounds with a 7-foot-6 wingspan from Nassau, Bahamas, is no doubt a ridiculous physical specimen.
When I glance at the Suns’ current roster along with the addition of Mr. Ayton, they look formidable. With pieces like superstar guard Devin Booker, guard Tyler Ulis and center Tyson Chandler already among Phoenix’s building blocks, Ayton will supply a much needed interior residence. Suns’ fans will be praying that he provides the similar double-double monster stat line that he racked up at the University of Arizona. Does 20.1 points per game and 11.6 rebounds per game do anything for you? Well, I’d take it time and time again.
What about the gifted one, point guard Trae Young, from the University of Oklahoma? Mr. Young has slid down draft boards seemingly everywhere due to his relatively poor performance down the stretch for the Sooners. Okay, he did struggle at the end of his freshman season. But this was once opponents came to the realization that this 19-year-old young pup could flat do anything he wished on the hardwood. Shooting the lights out from the land of plenty, attacking the rim off the dribble and serving up tasty dishes to his fellow compatriots.
And once discovered, teams started to double and even triple-team the high octane prodigy. Of course, this created a much more difficult environment for Young. That being said, Trae still managed to average 27.4 ppg and 8.7 assists per game for OU. No player, let alone a freshman, has ever led the country in both points and assists in a single season. Until now. That’s correct, Young became the very first in NCAA history to crack the points and assists code. Simply remarkable.
As a member of the Orange Roundball League, Young will have the luxury of playing one-on-one basketball. With the talent that the next level offers, teams won’t be able to afford to double or triple the 6-foot-2 and 181-pounder from Lubbock, TX. And now that Trae continues to improve his extraordinary abilities with the orange, increase his overall strength as well as his weight, look out. Folks, Young is going to be a straight baller in the NBA. Only one question remains. Who’s going to draft this Stephen Curry-esque wonder-boy?
If he isn’t selected among the top-five tonight, expect the Orlando Magic to snatch him up with the No. 6 overall pick. I’d love for him to be on the board when my Denver Nuggets have the No. 14 pick, but Young’s too much of a talent to pass on. Plus, the Magic have a legitimate need for a point guard.