As the No. 1 pick in the 2018 NBA Draft, former Arizona Wildcats big man Deandre Ayton is set to earn more than $8 million this season. His rookie contract with the Phoenix Suns is projected to be worth more than $40 million over four years, giving the 20-year-old plenty of cabbage to spend on himself.
His first big purchase, though, was meant for someone else.
Ayton told ESPN.com’s Chris Forsberg that the most expensive thing he’s bought so far was a house for his mother, Andrea.
“Her reaction was priceless,” Ayton said. “Obviously, you can’t repay her for what she’s done for you, but I’m trying. Trying to keep her as comfortable as possible, stress-free.”
The Phoenix-area home happens to be close to those of two other significant figures in the Suns organization: leading scorer Devin Booker and team owner Robert Sarver.
Other topics that Ayton weighed in on in the ESPN article included his thoughts on LeBron James signing with the Los Angeles Lakers—“he wants a young team that listens, and kids who can get better. Because he’s going to get old one day and he’s going to want to just chill down low—and advice he’s received.
He said he’s “waiting for my veterans to come back to Arizona from their lovely vacations. I’m sure they’ll help me and have plenty of advice.”
Ayton was not asked who he thought would win the NBA Rookie of the Year award, though Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Doncic was. His response: “I would say Ayton. He’s tall, he’s strong, he can do so many things.”