Deandre Ayton arrives as symbol that Phoenix Suns are on the rise

Annette Crawford
June 23, 2018

With that in mind, it's time to examine which teams made all the right moves and which made the wrong moves in the 2018 NBA Draft with the night's biggest winners and losers.

Here's a look at the 21 players the Associated Press snapped photos of at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn.

The Mavs are assembling a backcourt of the future.

But a big, young franchise center to build around eluded them - until now.

After almost falling out of the lottery entirely, MPJ was taken by the Denver Nuggets.

Ayton had been the frontrunner for the No. 1 pick ever since the draft lottery and any doubts were erased when he went through an individual workout with the Suns, the only team which he did so. This very well could be the steal of the draft.

The Kentucky point guard became the latest Canadian lottery pick on Thursday night when he landed with the Los Angeles Clippers, the team that wanted him most all along and one that he felt comfortable with.

Only a year ago we saw a Chicago-Minnesota Jimmy Butler blockbuster before the draft even started, as well as Philadelphia moving up to No. 1 in a surprising deal with Boston, former No. 2 pick D'Angelo Russell moving and a Dwight Howard trade (OK, we got one of those this year too earlier this week, but nobody was excited). That should surprise no one.

After Bridges, Final Four Most Outstanding Player Donte DiVincenzo went to Milwaukee at No. 17 and Omari Spellman to Atlanta at No. 30, giving Villanova three first-round picks for the first time.

In the 2017-18 season, National Basketball Association fans got to see for themselves young players like Jayson Tatum, Donovan Mitchell, Ben Simmons, Lauri Markkanen and Kyle Kuzma burst onto the scene and made an impact on their teams and the National Basketball Association as a whole. Those players also may not have made this slightly cringeworthy pitch for LeBron to stay with the Cavs - which probably will convince him to skip town.

The days of buying into drafts at minimal cost appear to be long gone.

"Having my name called being the first pick for the Phoenix Suns was mind-blowing", he said.

Tyneeha Rivers, the mother of Mikal Bridges and the Philadelphia 76ers' vice president of human resources, understandably was thrilled when her team selected Bridges 10th overall, gushing to ESPN's Maria Taylor about her son coming home. Between Bridges and 2017 #4 overall pick Josh Jackson, the Suns now have a pair of young wing defenders who can switch between positions interchangeably and clog up passing lanes. An annual tradition is renewed tonight as Celtics Stuff Live broadcasts through the NBA Draft.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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