Suns win NBA Draft Lottery, hold No. 1 pick

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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. (Source: 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. (Source: AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

The Phoenix Suns never seemed to have luck on their side, whether it's the NBA Draft Lottery or the playoffs.

But that changed on Tuesday.

The Phoenix Suns won the NBA Draft Lottery and will have the first overall pick in next month's draft. 


The team had the league's worst record and the best chance of getting the No. 1 pick, at 25 percent.

The Sacramento Kings, who had a 18.3 percent chance of moving into the top 3, has the second pick. The Atlanta Hawks round out the top three.

[RELATED: Suns forward Josh Jackson invites special guest to NBA Draft Lottery]

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.”

Last year, the Suns had the second-best odds of getting the top pick but dropped to No. 4. They chose Josh Jackson out of Kansas. The Los Angeles Lakers moved up to the second spot and picked Lonzo Ball out of UCLA.

Whomever the Suns take in next month's draft, he will join a young core group that includes Jackson and Devin Booker.

[RELATED: Suns’ Devin Booker: I’m done with not making the playoffs]

The Suns have been in the NBA Draft Lottery the past eight years, as the team hasn't made the playoffs since the 2009-10 season.

This is the third straight NBA draft lottery the Suns have had a top-four pick.

[RELATED: Suns pledge upgrade in talent, experience after awful season]

The Suns also have the 16th overall pick, pick they got from a trade with the Miami Heat.

The draft is June 21 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn.

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.

Below are the results of the NBA Draft Lottery:

  1. Phoenix
  2. Sacramento
  3. Atlanta
  4. Memphis
  5. Dallas
  6. Orlando
  7. Chicago
  8. Cleveland (from Brooklyn via Boston)
  9. New York
  10. Philadelphia (from Los Angeles Lakers via Phoenix)
  11. Charlotte
  12. LA Clippers (from Detroit)
  13. LA Clippers
  14. Denver

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