NEW YORK (AP) — Deandre Ayton became the first No. 1 Sun and Luka Doncic was traded only a day after arriving in the U.S.
The Atlanta Hawks swapped the rights to Doncic, the No. 3 pick from Slovenia, to Atlanta for Trae Young, the No. 5 selection from Oklahoma in on Thursday night in the NBA draft.
The Mavericks also gave up a future first-round pick to draft Doncic, who only arrived in New York on Wednesday after helping Spain’s Real Madrid win its league championship after he won Euroleague MVP and Final Four MVP honors when they won that title this year.
The Hawks will get perhaps the most exciting player in college basketball last season, the first player to lead the nation in scoring and assists in the same season.
Otherwise, the top of the draft was dominated by big men, starting with a pair of former high school teammates.
The Suns stayed close to home to make the 7-foot-1 Ayton the first No. 1 pick in franchise history. The center from Arizona averaged 20.1 points and 11.6 rebounds in his lone season in Tucson, tying for the national lead with 24 double-doubles in 35 games.
He joined Mychal Thompson — father of Golden State All-Star Klay Thompson — in 1978 as the only players from the Bahamas to be the No. 1 pick in the NBA draft.
The Sacramento Kings followed by taking Marvin Bagley III, the Duke big man who played with Ayton at Hillcrest Prep Academy in Phoenix in 2015-16.
With Jaren Jackson Jr. going fourth to Memphis, Texas center Mo Bamba going No. 6 to Orlando and Wendell Carter Jr. following to Chicago, it was an early run of big men in what’s increasingly become a perimeter-based league.
Then it was another guard with Alabama’s Collin Sexton going at No. 8 to Cleveland, triggering chants of Michael Porter Jr.’s name by Knicks fans who hoped they would take him with the No. 9 pick. But they ended up disappointed as New York went with Kentucky’s Kevin Knox.
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