When the Phoenix Suns were awarded the No. 1 pick in 2018 NBA Draft, experts were split on whether the Suns would select Arizona Wildcats star center Deandre Ayton with that pick, or go with Slovenian point guard Luka Doncic.
Fast-forward one month: That debate is essentially over.
A vast majority of experts now agree that the 7-foot-1, 260-pound Ayton will be the first No. 1 overall pick in Suns history when the 2018 NBA Draft takes place Thursday beginning at 4 p.m. Arizona time.
The Suns had never had the No. 1 overall pick in their 50-year history until this season.
Along with the experts, Vegas oddsmakers have the 19-year-old Ayton as the overwhelming favorite (1/5 odds) to be the No. 1 pick. And when he worked out for the Suns on June 6, Ayton himself predicted he would be selected first overall.
The Bahamian native and former Phoenix Hillcrest Prep star has been compared to a number of former NBA greats, including Patrick Ewing, David Robinson and Shawn Kemp. Here's a sampling of what the experts are saying about Ayton:
Jeremy Woo, Sports Illustrated: "It would be a surprise at this point if the Suns went in a direction other than Ayton, who most view as the draft’s top prospect and fits neatly into their situation. The top-rated prospect on our Big Board since the start of the season, Ayton possesses elite physical traits, a developing inside-out skill set and a star ceiling if all goes according to plan. He’ll immediately be one of the most athletic centers in the league."
The Ringer: Ayton is a "star center prospect whose body was built by the basketball gods, with a potentially elite two-way game."
Kyle Boone, CBS Sports: "Don't overthink this one, Phoenix. Ayton is the best player in the draft, and at 7-foot-1, he's got throwback big man qualities with a seasoned 3-point shot tucked away in his limitless arsenal. He's an ideal fit alongside Devin Booker."
Gary Parrish, CBS Sports: There's little doubt ... that the Suns will take Ayton first overall and hope the Arizona star becomes a Phoenix legend. His physical gifts make him unique and provide an opportunity for superstardom. He's not a sure thing, in my opinion. But Ayton definitely looks the part."