Phoenix Suns center Deandre Ayton is sometimes in disbelief that Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Doncic is a rookie as he heaped praise on the 19-year-old.
Mavericks sensation Doncic appears to be running away with the NBA Rookie of the Year award, averaging 19.6 points, 6.7 rebounds and 4.9 assists this season.
The Suns drafted Ayton out of Arizona with the number one pick in the 2018 NBA Draft.
Ayton said he has watched plenty of Doncic, who was drafted third last year, and he is very impressed.
"I watch his games all the time. He's a beast," Ayton said, via The Undefeated. "I'm like, 'Aw, what the heck, there is no way Doncic is a rookie.'
"That is what I say sometimes when I watch him play. He's been there [professionally]. He's been in situations like this."
Ayton is posting solid numbers himself, but is not receiving nearly as much praise as his Slovenian counterpart.
He is averaging 16.7 points, 10.7 rebounds and 2.2 assists for a 10-32 Suns team sitting last in the Western Conference.
"I cringe a little bit," Ayton said. "I have family and friends who always talk about it. I hear them.
"I try not to really buy into that stuff. Obviously, it gives me a little edge. I just want to go out there for my team-mates and just play."
Ayton will get a chance to go head-to-head with Doncic as the Suns play the Mavericks in Dallas on Monday.