2018 NBA Draft

Joel Embiid: Don't compare Deandre Ayton to me

From NBA Twitter and media reports

Joel Embiid isn’t one for comparisons, at least if you’re mentioning him in the same breath with this year’s No. 1 overall pick.

Embiid quieted the noise of similarities with Deandre Ayton, saying the Suns new draft selection doesn’t play defense. During the draft, he tweeted “Don’t compare Ayton to me either… I play DEFENSE.”

One of the biggest concerns of Ayton’s game heading into the draft was, in fact, his defense. It’s quite the opposite for Embiid, who earned an All-Defensive selection last season and is a finalist for the 2018 Kia Defensive Player of the Year.

After his big Draft moment, Ayton told reporters that he’s not worried about his defense in the NBA. The Suns will need help on that end, though, as they ranked last in Defensive Rating (110.6), 26th in opponent field goal percentage (47.1) and opponent 3-point percentage (37.3) and 21st in total blocks (370).

“Most definitely,” he said. “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.”

The reigning DPOY, Green, seemed to find some comedy in Embiid’s remarks. On Twitter, he posted a series of crown emojis, followed by “you got the crown man” in response to Embiid’s tweet.