Arizona big man Deandre Ayton leaving early for NBA


TUCSON, Ariz. — Arizona freshman big man Deandre Ayton is leaving early for the NBA after one dominating season.

Ayton made the announcement that he will declare for this June’s NBA draft on his Twitter feed Wednesday.

The 7-foot-1, 260-pound Ayton was named the Pac-12 Player of the Year after averaging 20.1 points (on 61 percent shooting) and 11.6 rebounds per game.

Ayton is the top pick in ESPN draft analyst Jonathan Givony’s NBA mock draft.

The Bahamian big man has the size of a center but the athleticism of a small forward. He has excellent footwork and a good midrange jump shot and he passes well out of double teams, traits that have him projected to be a lottery pick in the draft, and possibly the No. 1 overall pick.

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