PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5/AP)-- Phoenix Suns Center Deandre Ayton has been suspended without pay for 25 games for violating the terms of the NBA's Anti-Drug Program, the league announced Thursday evening.
NBA said in a statement that Ayton tested positive for diuretic.
The suspension coming just a day after the Suns blew out the Sacramento Kings on opening night.
The 2018 overall NBA first round pick Deandre Ayton's suspension will no doubt hurt the Phoenix Suns for the immediate future.
Ayton averaged 16.3 points and 10.3 rebounds as a rookie. He had 18 points and 11 rebounds Wednesday night in the Suns’ victory over Sacramento.
Phoenix Suns General Manager James Jones released the following statement concerning Ayton's suspension:
"On behalf of the Phoenix Suns organization, Monty Williams and I are disappointed in the actions by Deandre Ayton that led to his testing positive for a banned diuretic and subsequent suspension by the NBA. This does not uphold the standards and principles we have set for the team.”
“Deandre has expressed his deepest remorse. While he is suspended we remain committed to his growth and development on and off the court. His actions are not taken lightly, and we are committed to ensuring that Deandre understands the profound impact it has had on the team, organization, and Suns community.”
Ayton also released the following statement:
“I want to apologize to my family, the entire Suns organization, my teammates, partners, our fans and the Phoenix community. This was an unintentional mistake and unfortunately I put something in my body that I was completely unaware of. I do understand the unfortunate impact that this has on so many others, and for that I am deeply sorry. I'm extremely disappointed that I've let my team down. I will continue to work with the Players’ Union (NBPA) to go through the arbitration process and am hopeful for a positive resolution.”
Phoenix is at Denver to face the Nuggets on Friday night.
The next time fans will see Ayton play for the Suns will be on Dec. 17 against the Los Angeles Clippers.
Follow-up testing on Phoenix's Deandre Ayton showed no traces of any other banned substances, sources with knowledge of results tell ESPN. NBPA is likely to fast-track arbitration process to push for a reduction as soon as possible, per sources.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) October 25, 2019