With Arizona playing at the Phoenix Suns’ Talking Stick Resort Arena on Tuesday night, the room fittingly was filled with a lot of NBA people. Some front office executives and general managers were in town to scout the Wildcats’ game against Texas A&M.
It makes sense — the marquee matchup was between Arizona center Deandre Ayton and Texas A&M big man Robert Williams, who are both projected top-10 draft picks after this season. Others who have been mentioned in future draft projections include Arizona’s Allonzo Trier, Emmanuel Akot, Brandon Randolph and the injured Rawle Alkins, as well as Texas A&M forward D.J. Hogg.
Among those NBA people present: Boston Celtics general manager Danny Ainge, Cleveland Cavaliers GM Koby Altman, Utah Jazz GM Dennis Lindsey and Los Angeles Clippers executive Lawrence Frank.
Of that group, a few are very familiar with the sort of NBA talent Arizona produces. Ainge drafted UA guard Kadeem Allen last year, Altman traded for Channing Frye and Richard Jefferson and signed Derrick Williams in recent years, and Lindsey drafted Grant Jerrett in 2013. Frank coached Mike Bibby and Jefferson in his tenures with the Memphis Grizzlies and New Jersey Nets.