Although anything can happen and the Phoenix Suns could find a way to shock the basketball world, Deandre Ayton enters the 2018 NBA draft as the heavy favorite to be the first player off the board Thursday night.
According to BetOnline (h/t OddsShark), Ayton (-2000) (bet $2000 to win $100) is the odds-on favorite to be the top pick. Luka Doncic (+1200), Jaren Jackson Jr.(+4000) and the field (+1200) round out the competition.
Those odds should not come as much surprise given all of the predraft buzz surrounding Ayton. Especially since the former Arizona Wildcat told reporters earlier this month, "I know I'm going No. 1":
Since then, there has been nothing to suggest the Suns would go in a different direction.
It's hard to fault Phoenix for zeroing in on the local star. After all, the 7'1", 250-pound center averaged 20.1 points, 11.6 rebounds and 1.9 blocks per game as a freshman, piling up a Division I-leading 24 double-doubles in 35 games.
Even though he only mentored him for one season, Arizona coach Sean Miller expects the big man to be a force at the next level.
"In the NBA...they’re going to play with a court that's more spread out, with no zone," Miller said, via Scott Bordow of the Arizona Republic. "He's going to be a monster."
Staying in Arizona would undoubtedly help with the transition process. As for playing with the Suns, the 19-year-old believes the team could give opposing defenses headaches.
"I can pick-and-pop and Devin is a threat coming off the pick, so that'd be pretty hard to guard," Ayton said, via ESPN.com's Ian Begley.
This is a deep draft class, with Doncic, Jackson, Marvin Bagley III, Michael Porter Jr. and Trae Young all serving as intriguing prospects. But even with all of those options, Ayton appears to have separated himself from the pack.