Joel Embiid takes exception to comparisons to number one draft pick Deandre Ayton

As expected, the Phoenix Suns selected Deandre Ayton with the number one pick in this year’s NBA Draft on Thursday night.

Despite having a talented pool of players to choose from, the Suns simply couldn’t pass on the center, who played his college basketball nearby in Arizona.

The 19-year-old was the standout player in his draft class and has all the attributes to be one of the best big men in the league in the future.


Inevitably, he’s already drawing comparisons with other players, with one of those being Philadelphia 76ers star Joel Embiid.

ESPN analyst and former NBA champion Chauncey Billups became the latest person to compare the two.

“This is a guy who he reminds me of, Joel Embiid,” Billups said, per Yahoo Sports. “He can take you out to the mid-post area, he can go back to the basket, he’s very agile.

“He has the complete offensive game. Not only that, he affects the other side of the basketball court. He’s a rim protector and can guard the pick and roll.”

But the man he was being likened to was not in agreement at all.

Embiid took exception to the comparison between himself and Ayton and took to Twitter to voice his displeasure.

The Sixers All-Star then went on to fire a subtle dig at the new Phoenix man by questioning his defensive ability.

This drew a great reaction from Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green who anointed him as the king of Twitter after this latest barb.

A case for the defence

Embiid, though, isn’t wrong in his assessment as Ayton has often been criticised for his defence or lack thereof.

But after being made aware of the tweet by ‘The Process’, the Bahamian refuted the criticism and said he’ll do a good job protecting the rim.

“Most definitely,” he said, per ESPN. “I haven’t had the exposure in college to really guard big men, or the big men that I guard haven’t really touched the ball or really do what they were supposed to do.

“I know the game is changing a lot, but I just want to stick to the old-school big man. Being down low and really trying to be dominant.”

Embiid is likely just trying to gain a psychological advantage on another rival center in the league like he did with the likes of Hassan Whiteside and Andre Drummond this season.

But Ayton has the skills to match up with the 76er and this could potentially be the making of an exciting big man rivalry for years to come.

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