2018 NBA Draft Rumors: Kings Will 'Gladly' Pick Deandre Ayton or Luka Doncic

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistMay 16, 2018

Arizona's forward Deandre Ayton during the first half of a first-round game against Buffalo in the NCAA men's college basketball tournament Thursday, March 15, 2018, in Boise, Idaho. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
Ted S. Warren/Associated Press

The Sacramento Kings, who own the second overall pick in the 2018 NBA draft after Tuesday night's lottery in Chicago, are reportedly set to select either Arizona center Deandre Ayton or Real Madrid guard Luka Doncic.

Michael Wallace of the Memphis Grizzlies' official website reported the Kings will "gladly" select whichever top prospect the Phoenix Suns leave on the board, making the Atlanta Hawks at No. 3 the first real turning-point team.

Although the Kings' interest in the projected top two picks isn't groundbreaking information, whom they will select on draft night June 21 at the Barclays Center is a mystery.

That's because Jonathan Givony of ESPN reported the Suns haven't decided who they will take at No. 1:

Ayton, 19, is coming off an impressive freshman campaign with the Wildcats during which he averaged 20.1 points, 11.6 rebounds, 1.9 blocks and 0.6 steals per game while shooting 61.2 percent from the field across 35 appearances.

The Bahamas native was named the Pac-12 Player of the Year and the Pac-12 tournament's Most Outstanding Player.

Ayton's season ended on a low note, however, as he made just six of his 13 shots in a 14-point performance as the Buffalo Bulls upset Arizona in the first round of the NCAA tournament. The 7'1", 250-pound center played far too passively in a game in which he had a massive size and skill advantage.

He's nevertheless confident in his ability to make an impact at the next level.

"The NBA ain't ever seen a player like me," Ayton told Yaron Weitzman for Slam Online.

Meanwhile, Doncic is coming off a breakout campaign with Real Madrid.

The 19-year-old Slovenian standout averaged 14.5 points, 5.3 rebounds, 4.7 assists and 1.5 threes in 62 games between Spain's Liga ACB, the Euroleague and the Spanish Cup.

At 6'8", he's a prototypical player for the modern game with forward size and a guard skill set. Frank Urbina of HoopsHype provided highlights from the rising star's recent triple-double:

All told, the Suns and Kings are both in place to land new franchise cornerstones.

The Hawks will then choose from the next tier of prospects, highlighted by Marvin Bagley III (Duke), Michael Porter Jr. (Missouri) and Jaren Jackson Jr. (Michigan State).  

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