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Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
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Saturday / September 22.
  • Phoenix Suns win the NBA Draft Lottery; Knicks hold pat at No. 9

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    By ADAM ZAGORIA

    The Phoenix Suns entered the NBA Draft Lottery with the best chance at the No. 1 overall pick at 25 percent.

    And they are leaving with the rights to the No. 1 pick in the June 21 NBA Draft — which could well turn out to be former Arizona star Deandre Ayton, who would become the first No. 1 pick out of Arizona and the first ever by the Suns.

    “He better be,” Mychal Thompson, the only Bahamian ever taken at No. 1, told The New York Times in March of Ayton, a fellow native of the Bahamas. “He’s the best player in college basketball so if whoever has the No. 1 pick doesn’t pick him, they’re missing out on a chance at the next David Robinson.”

    A finalist for the prestigious Naismith and Wooden Awards, the 7-foot Ayton averaged 19.9 points, 11.4 rebounds and 1.9 blocks while notching 21 double-doubles as Arizona won the Pac-12 regular-season title and tournament titles. He was named both the Pac-12 Player and Freshman of the Year.

    “The NBA ain’t ever seen a player like me,” Ayton told Slam Magazine this week. “There are a lot of versatile bigs, but I’m a different versatile big. The versatile bigs that are in the NBA, all the unicorns, they start outside in. I establish myself down low before I come out. That was just old school to me — that’s how they taught me how to play.”

    Phoenix, which has a Serbian coach in Igor Kokoskov, could also opt to take Luka Doncic of Slovenia, who might be the most NBA-ready player in the Draft. He was Doncic’s head coach when he won the 2017 EuroBasket title.

    The team with the best odds has now won the last four lotteries — the Suns, Wolves, Celtics and Sixers.

    The Knicks did not move up and will pick at No. 9. They are expected to focus on a wing such as Villanova’s Mikal Bridges or Michigan State’s Miles Bridges.

    ESPN.com currently projects the Knicks taking Alabama freshman guard Collin Sexton at No. 9 despite the team having a glut of point guards in Frank Ntilikina, Emmanuel Mudiay and Trey Burke — all former lottery picks.

    “I think he has unbelievable potential,’’ Alabama coach Avery Johnson, the former Nets coach, told the NY Post. “I played in the league, coached in the league. He’s as fast as anyone I’ve ever seen in my NBA career. I think he’s a little bit closer to Kevin Johnson speed. I know that’s a blast from the past but that type of speed with [Russell] Westbrook athleticism.’’

    The LA Clippers will get the No. 12 and 13 picks.

     

    Here’s the complete Draft order:

    The following are the results from NBA Draft Lottery 2018 presented by State Farm:

    1.         Phoenix

    2.         Sacramento

    3.         Atlanta

    4.         Memphis

    5.         Dallas

    6.         Orlando

    7.         Chicago

    8.         Cleveland (from Brooklyn via Boston)

    9.         New York

    10.       Philadelphia (from Los Angeles Lakers via Phoenix)

    11.       Charlotte

    12.       LA Clippers (from Detroit)

    13.       LA Clippers

    14.       Denver

    The following is the order for the remainder of NBA Draft 2018 presented by State Farm:

    15.       Washington

    16.       Phoenix (from Miami)

    17.       Milwaukee

    18.       San Antonio

    19.       Atlanta (from Minnesota)

    20.       Minnesota (from Oklahoma City via Utah)

    21.       Utah

    22.       Chicago (from New Orleans)

    23.       Indiana

    24.       Portland

    25.       Los Angeles Lakers (from Cleveland)

    26.       Philadelphia

    27.       Boston

    28.       Golden State

    29.       Brooklyn (from Toronto)

    30.       Atlanta (from Houston via LA Clippers)

    2018 SECOND ROUND DRAFT CHOICE ORDER

    31.       Phoenix

    32.       Memphis

    33.       Dallas

    34.       Atlanta

    35.       Orlando

    36.       New York (from Chicago via Oklahoma City)

    37.       Sacramento
    38.       Philadelphia (from Brooklyn)

    39.       Philadelphia (from New York)

    40.       Brooklyn (from Los Angeles Lakers via Toronto and Orlando)

    41.       Orlando (from Charlotte via Phoenix and Memphis)

    42.       Detroit

    43.       Denver (from LA Clippers via New York and Philadelphia)
    44.       Washington

    45.       Brooklyn (from Milwaukee)

    46.       Houston (from Miami via Memphis)
    47.       Los Angeles Lakers (from Denver via Chicago and Utah)

    48.       Minnesota

    49.       San Antonio

    50.       Indiana

    51.       New Orleans

    52.       Utah

    53.       Oklahoma City

    54.       Dallas (from Portland via Denver)

    55.       Charlotte (from Cleveland via Brooklyn and Philadelphia)

    56.       Philadelphia

    57.       Oklahoma City (from Boston)

    58.       Denver (from Golden State)

    59.       Phoenix (from Toronto)

    60.       Philadelphia (from Houston)

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    Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle. A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013. He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.