Charles Barkley says whoever picks first in the NBA draft is about to hit THE MOTHER LODE -- 'cause University of Arizona star Deandre Ayton is the best college hoops player he's seen in decades!!!
"The kid from Arizona -- he's a monster. He's the best college player I've seen in the last 20 years. He's unbelievable," Chuck told Adam Glyn out in NYC.
FYI, the guys who played NCAA basketball from 1998 to 2018 include Steph Curry, Dwyane Wade, Kevin Durant, Carmelo Anthony and Chris Paul ... so Barkley's making a HUGE statement here.
There's more -- Sir Charles also shaded all the top squads playing in March Madness this year ... and gave the hilarious reason why he's never gonna do politics.
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