Suns win NBA draft lottery, right to pick No. 1 next month - CBS46 News

Suns win NBA draft lottery, right to pick No. 1 next month

Posted: Updated:
(AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast). Phoenix Suns forward Josh Jackson reacts after the team won the first pick of the 2018 NBA Draft during the NBA basketball draft lottery Tuesday, May 15, 2018, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast). Phoenix Suns forward Josh Jackson reacts after the team won the first pick of the 2018 NBA Draft during the NBA basketball draft lottery Tuesday, May 15, 2018, in Chicago.
(AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast). NBA Deputy Commissioner Mark Tatum, left, congratulates Phoenix Suns forward Josh Jackson after Tatum announced that the Suns had won the first pick for the NBA basketball draft, during the draft lottery Tuesday, May 15... (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast). NBA Deputy Commissioner Mark Tatum, left, congratulates Phoenix Suns forward Josh Jackson after Tatum announced that the Suns had won the first pick for the NBA basketball draft, during the draft lottery Tuesday, May 15...
(AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast). Josh Jackson, left, representing the Phoenix Suns, Jami Gertz, center, representing the Atlanta Hawks, and De'Aaron Fox, representing the Sacramento Kings, wait for the announcement of the top three picks in the 2018 NB... (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast). Josh Jackson, left, representing the Phoenix Suns, Jami Gertz, center, representing the Atlanta Hawks, and De'Aaron Fox, representing the Sacramento Kings, wait for the announcement of the top three picks in the 2018 NB...
  • NationalMore>>

  • USC president agrees to step down amid gynecologist scandal

    USC president agrees to step down amid gynecologist scandal

    Saturday, May 26 2018 7:26 AM EDT2018-05-26 11:26:53 GMT
    The president of the University of Southern California has agreed to step down amid a sex scandal involving a school gynecologist.More >
    The president of the University of Southern California has agreed to step down amid a sex scandal involving a school gynecologist.More >
  • Police: Suspected gunman spoke online about demon possession

    Police: Suspected gunman spoke online about demon possession

    Saturday, May 26 2018 7:26 AM EDT2018-05-26 11:26:47 GMT
    (Sarah Phipps/The Oklahoman via AP). Police officers stand at the scene of a shooting on the east side of Lake Hefner in Oklahoma City, Thursday, May 24, 2018. A man armed with a pistol walked into Louie’s On The Lake restaurant at the dinner hour and ...(Sarah Phipps/The Oklahoman via AP). Police officers stand at the scene of a shooting on the east side of Lake Hefner in Oklahoma City, Thursday, May 24, 2018. A man armed with a pistol walked into Louie’s On The Lake restaurant at the dinner hour and ...
    Authorities say a Facebook page in which a man claims his television is possessed by the devil belongs to the man suspected of shooting three people at an Oklahoma City restaurant before being killed by two armed...More >
    Authorities say a Facebook page in which a man claims his television is possessed by the devil belongs to the man suspected of shooting three people at an Oklahoma City restaurant before being killed by two armed bystanders.More >
  • Volcanic ash swamps Hawaii school, turning tennis court gray

    Volcanic ash swamps Hawaii school, turning tennis court gray

    Saturday, May 26 2018 7:26 AM EDT2018-05-26 11:26:34 GMT
    (George F. Lee/Honolulu Star-Advertiser via AP). In this May 23, 2018 photo, lava erupts in the air in Leilani Estates area near Pahoa, Hawaii. The Kilauea volcano has opened more than 20 vents in the ground that have released lava, sulfur dioxide and ...(George F. Lee/Honolulu Star-Advertiser via AP). In this May 23, 2018 photo, lava erupts in the air in Leilani Estates area near Pahoa, Hawaii. The Kilauea volcano has opened more than 20 vents in the ground that have released lava, sulfur dioxide and ...
    Authorities say an eruption at the summit of a volcano on Hawaii's Big Island has sent an ash cloud about 10,000 feet into the air.More >
    Authorities say an eruption at the summit of a volcano on Hawaii's Big Island has sent an ash cloud about 10,000 feet into the air.More >

By TIM REYNOLDS
AP Basketball Writer

CHICAGO (AP) - Phoenix general manager Ryan McDonough was on stage moments after the NBA draft lottery ended, talking about the future of the Suns and mentioning how they had the best odds of picking No. 1 overall.

And then he stopped to correct himself.

"We have No. 1," McDonough said. "I've got to adjust to that."

It's an adjustment that he and the Suns will happily be making.

The worst team in the league this season will pick first in the NBA draft on June 21, after the Suns won the draft lottery on Tuesday night. It's the first time the Suns will have the chance to make the first overall selection.

"It's great for our franchise," said McDonough, whose club went 21-61 this season and missed the playoffs for an eighth consecutive year. "It's something that you say coming into it, you don't have any control over it so you're not going to get nervous. And I was here dying. I could barely breathe. I needed an oxygen tank."

The Suns have three great candidates for No. 1, all with ties to either Arizona or new Phoenix coach Igor Kokoskov. Arizona freshman center Deandre Ayton is widely expected to be a strong candidate to go No. 1 overall, and he was at the lottery to watch the Suns win the pick. So was Duke's Marvin Bagley III, an Arizona native.

And Kokoskov is particularly familiar with Slovenia's Luka Doncic, who will be coming to the NBA from Real Madrid. Kokoskov coached Slovenia - and Doncic - to the gold medal at the European championships last summer.

"We have a small target grouping in mind, but we're not going to rule anything out at this point," McDonough said. "I think we'll have a great choice, no matter who we select."

The Suns were big winners.

So were Sacramento and Atlanta.

Sacramento will pick No. 2 and Atlanta got the No. 3 pick - both of them moving up and bucking some odds to get there. The top three spots were determined by the lottery, and then spots 4-14 fell in line of reverse order of record.

Sacramento had a 18.3 percent chance entering the lottery of moving into the top three, while Atlanta's move-up was really just a slightly bigger upset than a coin-flip - the Hawks came into the night with a 42.3 percent chance of getting picks 1, 2 or 3.

"No big deal. It's a deep draft," Kings vice president and general manager Vlade Divac said. "We're going to do our job and obviously, I'm glad that we played the last two years to develop guys and try to win games. You cannot develop guys if you don't teach them how to win."

The Hawks, like the Suns, got their lottery result one day after introducing a new coach. Lloyd Pierce is taking over in Atlanta, with a reputation of helping great young talent develop - he's worked with Joel Embiid, Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and LeBron James, among many others.

"For Hawks fans, it's a big deal," said Hawks owner Jami Gertz, who represented the franchise on stage at the lottery. "I say to Atlanta, we are on our way. Championships down the road, sooner than later. Let's go."

The rest of the slots, in order, went to No. 4 Memphis, No. 5 Dallas, No. 6 Orlando, No. 7 Chicago, No. 8 Cleveland, No. 9 New York, No. 10 Philadelphia, No. 11 Charlotte, No. 12 and No. 13 Los Angeles Clippers, and No. 14 Denver.

The draft is June 21 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn.

The lottery has been around since 1985, was tweaked to a weighted system in 1990 and will be changing again next year in an effort to discourage teams from tanking.

Going forward, the three teams with the worst regular-season records will all have 14 percent chances of winning the No. 1 pick, the fourth-worst team will have a 12.5 percent chance and the fifth-worst 10.5 percent. So there will still be a benefit to being bad, but the odds will be so similar among the bottom five teams - a 3.5 percent differential in the race for No. 1, instead of the 16.2 percent gap like this year - that the reward for losing might be lessened.

"I don't like that word, what is it, tanking?" Divac said. "I hate it."

Josh Jackson, who just completed his rookie season with Phoenix, represented the Suns on the stage, for the public announcement of what was drawn in secret about an hour earlier. Only a handful of team representatives, NBA officials and media knew the outcome of the lottery before it was revealed publicly and they were all sequestered until the results were aired.

Jackson said he thinks the Suns need a big man. That means his vote, for now anyway, is Ayton.

"He's got so much potential," Jackson said.

The Suns feel the same way about themselves. They have three picks in the first 31 in this draft, plus have some cap room to work with this summer. The plan, McDonough said, is to add some veterans to mold what will be a young core led by the likes of Devin Booker, Jackson and potentially whoever the No. 1 pick is next month.

With some more luck, Jackson won't be going to more lotteries.

"Hopefully we won't be sitting up here too much longer," Jackson said.

___

More AP NBA: https://apnews.com/tag/NBAbasketball

Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.