Suns' Deandre Ayton suspended 25 games for positive diuretic test

The NBPA is already planning on appealing the suspension on the basis that Ayton took the substance unintentionally.

Deandre Ayton released a statement on Thursday apologizing for the

Deandre Ayton released a statement on Thursday apologizing for the "unintentional mistake."   -  (Getty Images)

Suns center Deandre Ayton is out for 25 games after testing positive for a diuretic, the NBA announced on Thursday.

The 2018 No. 1 pick underwent follow-up testing and showed "no traces of any other banned substances," according to ESPN, which cited unidentified league sources.

The National Basketball Players Association (NBPA), hoping to "fast-track" the process, is already planning arbitration to reduce or rescind the penalty entirely due to Ayton allegedly taking the drug unintentionally, ESPN noted.

Ayton released a statement Thursday apologizing for the "unintentional mistake."

"I want to apologize to my family, the entire Suns organization, my teammates, partners, our fans and the Phoenix community," his statement read. "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 NBPA to go through arbitration and am hopeful of a positive resolution."

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Suns general manager James Jones released his own statement later.

“On behalf of the Phoenix Suns organization, Monty Williams and I are disappointed in the actions by Deandre Ayton that led to his testing positive for a banned diuretic and subsequent suspension by the NBA," the statement read. "This does not uphold the standards and principles we have set for the team.

“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.”

The news of Ayton's absence means the No. 1 and No. 2 picks from the 2018 NBA Draft would be out for at least a month and possibly more to start the year.

According to The Athletic, Marvin Bagley III suffered a broken thumb in the Kings' loss to the Suns on Wednesday. He could miss four to six weeks.

Ayton scored 18 points and added 11 rebounds in Phoenix's season-opening win. He had been named in the NBA's All-Rookie team last year.

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