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Kyle Freeland Colorado Rockies Jersey
#1
For most of their half-century in existence Youth Baker Mayfield Jersey , the Phoenix Suns have coveted a big-time center.
In 1969, they lost the coin flip with Milwaukee for Lew Alcindor, now known as Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, and chose Neal Walk at No. 2. The closest they came was Alvan Adams, an All-Star on some very good teams. Shaquille O’Neal made a cameo appearance late in his career.
But a big, young franchise center to build around eluded them – until now.
With the first overall pick in the draft for the first time in franchise history, the Suns believe they have their man in 7-foot-1, 250-pound Deandre Ayton, whose size, athleticism and multiple skills made him the obvious No. 1 overall pick Thursday night.
Suns general manager Ryan McDonough called it ”a historic night for the franchise.”
There was a big cheer from the crowd gathered at Talking Stick Resort Arena for a party to celebrate the highest pick in franchise history. They’ve chosen second overall twice.
”Having my name called to be the first pick for the Phoenix Suns was mind-blowing,” Ayton said. ”Having all the confidence and leading up to that point when I saw (NBA Commissioner) Adam Silver came out, I was just waiting for my name, and when he called it Lamar Jackson Color Rush Jersey , my mind went blank. … and I saw the reaction on my mom’s face. It was just priceless.”
The Suns also got the 10th overall pick, moving up six spots in a trade with Philadelphia to get guard/forward Mikal Bridges of Villanova. Phoenix sent the No. 16 pick, guard Zhaire Smith of Texas Tech, to the 76ers along with Miami’s unprotected first-round pick in 2021.
Ayton will join Devin Booker and Josh Jackson as the core of young talent that the Suns hope will pull them out of their long decline. Phoenix has missed the playoffs the last eight seasons and their 21-61 record last season was the worst in the NBA and second-worst in franchise history.
”The team in general is a very young and hungry team,” Ayton said. ”We just have to stick together, get a great chemistry and start a winning legacy in Phoenix.”
In Brooklyn for the announcement, Ayton wore a sports jacket with an array of colors on the inside lining.
”There’s a few flags in there,” Ayton said. ”My dad is from Nigeria, my mom is Jamaican and Bahamian, so I’m helping all those countries in one. I’m not just a Bahamian. I’m Nigerian and Jamaican. So I just want to let the world know that.”
Ayton was born in the Bahamas but left at age 12, a basketball prodigy who stayed in several Southern California homes and played with various basketball programs, including a season as a teammate of Marvin Bagley III at Hillcrest Prep in Phoenix.
Ayton, a month shy of his 20th birthday Kyle Freeland Colorado Rockies Jersey , was the Pac-12 player of the year at Arizona last season, averaging 20.1 points and 11.6 rebounds per game. But the Wildcats made an early exit in the NCAA Tournament, losing to Buffalo. Ayton also had to tune out the noise from a federal investigation that ensnared an Arizona assistant coach.[Image: nike_buccaneers_2716.jpg]
But he emerged above the rest in the pre-draft process.
Ayton worked out for only one team, the Suns, and turned on the charm with the media afterward.
Don’t worry, Ayton assured everyone that day, ”I know I’m going No. 1.”
That workout, McDonough said, was the deal-maker.
”He was first on our board coming into the workout,” McDonough said, ”and then he blew us away in the workout, which I think you guys probably gathered from my tone. I’m usually pretty stoic but I was watching a workout that just was incredible.”
McDonough called Ayton ”just a phenomenal physical talent. Watching him play and then working him out and interacting with him just checked every box for us.”
The 6-foot-7 Bridges is a bonus, a third-team All-American and a member of the 2018 all-Final Four team. When the 76ers drafted him Cheap Sam Darnold Jersey , it looked like a feel-good hometown story since he’s from Philadelphia and his mother Tyneeha Rivers was vice president for human resources for the 76ers.
Bridges even appeared at a news conference to talk about staying in Philadelphia.
But the Suns wanted him badly and kept pushing for the deal. Finally, the 76ers agreed and Bridges was bound for the desert.
He said there were no hard feelings about the trade.
”I’m excited. It’s a business and you’ve got a lot of talent going down there,” Bridges said. ”I can’t wait to start this up.”
With the 31st pick in the draft, the first in the second round, Phoenix chose point guard Elie Okobo of France, a 20-year-old sharpshooter who scored 44 in a French playoff game. And with the 59th pick – next-to-last overall – the Suns selected forward George King of Colorado.

James Harden proved once again that Utah’s vaunted defense was no match for him.
Harden scored 41 points and the Houston Rockets raced out to a huge lead and sailed to a 110-96 win over the Jazz in Game 1 of the Western Conference semifinals on Sunday.
Houston was up by 25 at halftime behind 34 points combined from Harden and Chris Paul. The Jazz, who didn’t wrap up their first-round series with Oklahoma City until late Friday night, looked sluggish and struggled to keep pace with the top-seeded Rockets, who hadn’t played since eliminating Minnesota on Wednesday.
The Jazz tied for second in the NBA in the regular season by allowing just 99.8 points, but failed to stop Harden in any of their meetings. Harden, who also had seven assists and eight rebounds, picked up where he left off in the regular season against the Jazz when he averaged 34.3 points, led by a 56-point performance in a 137-110 win in November.
”Their defense is really good – their defense is super Arden Key Color Rush Jersey ,” Houston coach Mike D’Antoni said. ”But James is James.”
Utah coach Quin Snyder seemed at a loss as to how to limit the MVP front-runner, who had the sixth 40-point playoff game of his career.
”He’s a special player,” he said. ”It’s hard to give credit to all the things that he does. He just impacts the game in so many mays. You have to try to make it harder for him.”
It was Houston’s fourth straight win by 10 or more points this postseason, and the Rockets have won their five games against the Jazz by an average of 16.8 points.
”We’re different,” Harden said. ”We’ve seen so many different defenses throughout this year that have prepared us for this moment.”
The Jazz got 21 points each from rookie Donovan Mitchell and Jae Crowder while playing without starting point guard Ricky Rubio, who sat with a strained left hamstring. It was a significant blow after he averaged 14 points, 7.3 rebounds and seven assists in the first round.
The Jazz refused to blame their tough game on the fact that they didn’t have much of a break between the first and second round.
”It’s a quick turnaround obviously and there’s some fatigue,” Mitchell said. ”But that wasn’t the reason for the performance.”
The Rockets had 10 3-pointers by halftime, led by three apiece from Harden and P.J. Tucker. They finished with 17, including seven from Harden, which tied his career-high for a playoff game.
The Rockets were up by 18 entering the fourth after Paul hit a 3-pointer at the end of the third. Utah scored the first seven points of the fourth quarter to get within 86-75, but Harden made three free throws over the next minute to end the run.
Rudy Gobert, who had 11 points and nine rebounds http://www.raidersauthorizedshops.com/au...ler-jersey , had a dunk after that, but a 3-pointer by Harden extended Houston’s lead to 92-77 with about 8 1/2 minutes left.
Mitchell was shaken up when Eric Gordon stepped on his ankle as he drove to the basket with about 5 1/2 minutes remaining. He stayed on the court for a second holding his ankle before hopping up and walking gingerly to the bench. But remained on the bench for just a few seconds before returning and said after the game that he was OK.
Both the Rockets and the fifth-seeded Jazz are in the semifinals for the second straight year. The Rockets, who beat the Timberwolves in five games to advance, lost to the Spurs last season, and Utah was eliminated by Golden State.
TIP-INS
Jazz: Royce O’Neale started in place of Rubio and finished with four points and four assists. … The Jazz haven’t said how long Rubio will be out, but multiple reports have indicated that it could be as many as 10 days. … Joe Ingles had 15 points.
Rockets: Luc Mbah a Moute had three points and three rebounds in his first postseason action this season. He had been out since dislocating his right shoulder on April 10. … Clint Capela had 16 points and 12 rebounds for his third straight double-double. … Paul finished with 17 points, four steals and six assists.
HE SAID IT
Paul on his relationship with Mitchell and any advice he’s given him since the start of the postseason: ”He’s playing great on his own. So I ain’t got nothing for him.”
UP NEXT
The Rockets host Game 2 on Wednesday night before the series shifts to Utah for two games.

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