Phoenix Suns center DeAndre Ayton, the No. 1 pick in the 2018 NBA draft, has been suspended for 25 games after violating the league’s anti-drug program. Ayton, the NBA said, tested positive for a banned diuretic.
“I want to apologize to my family, the entire Suns organization, my teammates, partners, our fans and the Phoenix community,” Ayton said in a statement. “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.”
Ayton, selected by the Suns ahead of Luka Doncic and Trae Young, averaged 16.3 points and 10.3 rebounds in his rookie season. He had 18 points, 11 rebounds and four blocked shots in the team’s season-opening win against the Sacramento Kings.
“This does not uphold the standards and principles we have set for the team,” Suns general manager James Jones said. “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.”