Suns center Deandre Ayton was the No. 1 pick in the NBA draft last year. One year later, he has been suspended after just one regular-season game.
ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported Thursday night that Ayton is facing a 25-game suspension for violating the NBA's Anti-Drug policy with a positive test for a diuretic. Ayton later confirmed the news with a statement to Wojnarowski.
More Ayton: "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 NBPA to go through arbitration and am hopeful of a positive resolution." https://t.co/LShm244MnD— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) October 25, 2019
Ayton's looming suspension puts him in line to miss games against both the Warriors and Kings. The Warriors face Phoenix once in their first 25 games, when they host the Suns on Wednesday at Chase Center. The Kings next play the Suns on Nov. 19 at Golden 1 Center.
Sacramento already has faced Ayton and the Suns once this year when they fell, 124-95, Wednesday night in the season opener. The talented big man dropped 18 points and grabbed 11 rebounds in the Suns' victory.
Ayton, 21, averaged 16.3 points and 10.3 rebounds per game as a rookie last season in Phoenix. Losing him for any stretch of time will be a big blow to the Suns as they try to reach the playoffs for the first time since the 2009-10 season.