Deandre Ayton is widely expected to be the first player off the board at the 2018 NBA draft on Thursday, but there is at least one person who would take a different prospect at No. 1 overall.
Marvin Bagley III's father.
TMZ Sports caught up to the elder Bagley in New York on Wednesday and asked him if he thought his son should be the top pick: "He should. He's the best player in the draft."
Ayton made it clear earlier this month that he was only working out for the Phoenix Suns because "I know I'm going No. 1." And there has been no reporting to the contrary in the days leading up to the draft.
Bagley should not have to wait long to hear his name called, though. Eddie Sefko of the Dallas Morning News tweeted on Monday that it is a "near-lock" that the former Duke star will go No. 2 to the Sacramento Kings.
If that's the case, that is just fine with him. The 19-year-old let it be known after his workout with the Kings that he loves it in Sacramento (Skip ahead to 3:48 mark):
The 6'11", 235-pound forward averaged 21.0 points and 11.1 rebounds per game as a freshman and piled up 22 double-doubles in 33 games. Meanwhile, the 7'1", 250-pound Ayton piled up 24 double-doubles for Arizona while averaging 20.1 points, 11.6 rebounds and 1.9 blocks per game as a freshman.
Of course, a player's draft slot means very little when they get on the court. There have been plenty of No. 1 overall picks who have been outplayed by players picked after them (see: Greg Oden-Kevin Durant, 2007).
Knowing that, Bagley isn't going full LaVar Ball. He is just thankful for the moment ahead: "We're just happy for any opportunity to play in the NBA."