DeAndre Ayton didn’t have to wait long to find out where his new home would be, as the big man out of Arizona was selected no. 1 overall by the Phoenix Suns.
Ayton is a physical specimen to behold. At 7’1” with a 250-pound frame, the 20-year-old center is already built ready for the league. He could be a generational center as a transition big that fits the prototypical play-style of today’s NBA bigmen. He can knock down long range jumpers (34% 3-point FG in college) and has a willingness to bully guys inside.
DeAndre Ayton averaged 20.1 points per game in his lone year in Arizona, often getting what he wanted on offense at will. He can score around the rim, from mid-range, and beyond utilizing exceptional footwork and post moves. The outside shooting ability should give Ayton the chance to spread the floor on offense, something so vital to the way NBA offenses are run in this era.
DeAndre is also the best rebounder in this year’s draft class, pulling in 11.6 rebounds per game in Arizona. He’s very active on the offensive glass and always a threat for tip-ins and put backs.
Phoenix will start Ayton at the five spot from day one. He is as NBA ready as anyone in this year’s draft class. His talents in the open court will fit right in with the Sun’s run-and-gun offense, as the big man is at his best in an up-tempo style of play.
Ayton will be joining a Suns team that already has a plethora of young talent, led by 22-year-old Devin Booker. In 2016, the team drafted Croatian big man Dragan Bender 4th overall. In 2017 the Suns were active on draft day, pulling in Josh Jackson with the 4th pick, and later trading with Sacramento for Washington forward Marquese Chriss.
The future is bright in Arizona, as the Suns could have a franchise altering talent on their hands moving forward.