In the ongoing debate on whether the Phoenix Suns should draft center Deandre Ayton or point guard Luka Doncic with the first pick in the 2018 NBA Draft, Dusan Ristic has a unique perspective.
The all-time winningest player in Arizona Wildcats basketball history played alongside fellow 7-footer Ayton in Tucson last season -- but coming from Serbia, Ristic has also closely followed the career of Doncic, who just won MVP honors in leading Real Madrid to a EuroLeague title. New Suns coach and fellow Serbian Igor Kokoskov coached Doncic and the Slovenian national team to a championship in EuroBasket 2017.
On Wednesday's Wildcat Country podcast, Ristic was asked point-blank: Who should the Suns take with the No. 1 pick?
"Deandre Ayton. That's not even a question," Ristic said.
"I know both of them really well. I know Deandre a little bit more because I played with him last year, but I've been following Luka's career for a long time. Obviously he's doing something that's never been done before in the history of European basketball, and I have a huge respect for his game and what he's done so far. But just thinking long-term, I don't think the Suns can go wrong if they pick Deandre."
The 19-year-old Doncic has yet to officially make a decision as to whether he'll come to the NBA next season -- but if he does, a number of experts believe his skill set makes him worthy of being selected No. 1. But Ristic believes Ayton, who has been compared to Hall of Famer David Robinson and some of the other top centers in NBA history, is simply too good to pass up.
"The unique combination of Deandre's skills, strength, quickness and everything else, you can't pass on that," Ristic said. "I'm pretty confident that Deandre will be the No. 1 pick in this upcoming draft."
The Suns will make their decision during the 2018 NBA Draft on June 21.