The NBA Draft is Friday, June 22nd and everyone is saying it is down to two players for The Phoenix Suns' number one draft pick.

The case for Deandre Ayton

Any argument for Ayton inevitably starts with highlighting his immense physical presence. Although he skipped the combine, prior measurements from high school make it clear he’s NBA-ready from a size standpoint.

At the 2016 Adidas Nations camp, he clocked in at 7-0 tall with a 7-5 wingspan. His standing reach checked in at 9-4.5 in 2016 at Basketball Without Borders. That’s roughly on par with NBA bigs like Hassan Whiteside and DeMarcus Cousins.

Ayton’s athleticism is elite for his size. He moves fluidly around the court, can leap out of the gym and possesses a quick second jump. Task a team of basketball scientists to come up with a physical prototype, and they would likely create something similar to the Arizona product.  Of course, size and elite athleticism are neither necessary nor sufficient conditions for a prospect. Some level of projectable skill is needed.

Ayton was extremely productive as a freshman at Arizona. He averaged 24.0 points and 13.8 rebounds per 40 minutes on a 65.0 true shooting percentage. The 7-footer dominated opposing defenses via post-ups (1.052 points per possession, 90th percentile), off-ball cuts (1.376 PPP, 85th percentile) and offensive rebounds (1.440 PPP, 93rd percentile).

With an increased emphasis on 3-point shooting, the NBA’s modern offensive climate isn’t necessarily the most conducive to high-volume post play. Still, 11 teams during the regular season featured a big man who finished more than 4.0 possessions per game in the post. Ayton figures to be able to do the same at a fairly efficient clip.

Absent any developments to his ball-handling and play-making — two skills where he is well behind some of the league’s best offensive bigs — Ayton’s upside likely lies primarily in his ability to become an efficient jump shooter. He featured frequently as a pick-and-pop threat while playing power forward for the Wildcats.

Accuracy remains a challenge for Ayton, however. He shot just 36.2 percent on pick-and-pop jumpers this season while converting 34.3 percent of his 3-point attempts. NBA teams will likely want to discourage Ayton from becoming reliant on his midrange game and move him out to the 3-point line given the math involved.

It’s not hard to imagine Ayton bringing positive value on the offensive end as a scorer — whether via an effective post offense, a jump shot or some combination — but it may ultimately be his defense that makes or breaks him as an elite prospect. Watching several of the league’s best bigs struggle to keep up with opposing guards in the playoffs only magnifies the importance.

Ayton possesses the necessary physical attributes to defend the perimeter well. He has quick feet and good hips. Still, his college tape remains a mixed bag:The 19-year-old has faced criticisms for his defensive effort throughout his playing career, and his technique still needs work, but there’s a path forward for him as a switchable defensive piece given his athleticism. Nonetheless, developing his aptitude as a perimeter defender may be more valuable given the NBA’s current trends.  Expect Ayton to be lauded as a surefire 20-and-10 — meaning 20 points and 10 rebounds per game.  Ayton is our pick to be the NBA's number one pick.