2018 NBA Draft Odds: Deandre Ayton, Luka Doncic Leaders to Go No. 1

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistMay 17, 2018

Arizona's DeAndre Ayton poses for a portrait before the NBA basketball draft lottery Tuesday, May 15, 2018, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)
Charles Rex Arbogast/Associated Press

Following the 2018 NBA draft lottery, Arizona Wildcats center Deandre Ayton remains the odds-on favorite to be the No. 1 pick in the 2018 draft.

According to OddShark's Justin Hartling, Ayton is a 1-2 favorite to land with the Phoenix Suns, while Slovenian guard Luka Doncic (3-2) is second on the list. Michigan State Spartans forward Jaren Jackson Jr. (12-1) is the only other individual player included aside from the rest of the field (15-2).

Based on the results of the draft lottery, Doncic's odds of going first overall may climb.

The Suns formally introduced Igor Kokoskov as their head coach earlier this week. Kokoskov had most recently spent three seasons as an assistant for the Utah Jazz and also served as the coach of the Slovenian national team.

Kokoskov helped Slovenia capture gold at EuroBasket 2017, and Doncic was a key player on that team, averaging 14.3 points and 3.6 assists.

Suns fans are well aware of Ayton's talent after watching him in his only season with Arizona. He averaged 20.1 points, 11.6 rebounds and 1.9 blocks. He shot 12-of-35 from beyond the arc as well, so he could grow into a center who can help stretch the floor offensively.

The poor state of the Suns means they could take either Ayton or Doncic and fill a need in their roster.

Phoenix acquired Elfrid Payton from the Orlando Magic, but he's a restricted free agent. The Suns could let Payton walk as a free agent and start Doncic alongside Devin Booker in the backcourt. The general outlook is the same at center, with neither Marquese Chriss nor Dragan Bender a great long-term replacement for Tyson Chandler.

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