Suns Squared: DeAndre Ayton

TUCSON, AZ - DECEMBER 09: Deandre Ayton
TUCSON, AZ - DECEMBER 09: Deandre Ayton /

How does Arizona’s Offensive Dynamo Stack up Statistically?

Suns Squared is back!

With the NBA season transitioning to the second half, and the Suns slowly fading in the Western Conference, many eyes are turning to the draft as the college season ramps up. Suns Squared is back to take an analytical looks at the top draft prospects.

The first prospect to break down is DeAndre Ayton.

Ayton is a 7-1 center from the Bahamas who has been lighting it up offensively for the Arizona Wildcats. Ayton is currently averaging 20.2 points, 11.3 rebounds, and 1.5 blocks per game on 63% shooting. He has flashed an effective post-up game to go along with a mid-range jumper, and frequently looks a step-up offensively when compared to those around him especially other bigs, including Mohamed Bamba, the Texas center and future Suns Squared topic. However, Ayton seems to struggle a little bit on defense despite having the physical tools to be just as successful on that end of the floor.

Phoenix Suns
Phoenix Suns /

Phoenix Suns

College stats don’t always translate to the NBA and so it is important to be careful when making professional projections, but there are a couple of things that Ayton does really well that need to be noted.

First off if there is one college stat that does translate, rebounding, and Ayton is a monster on the glass. 11.3 rebounds per game and 12.7 rebounds per 36 minutes are great raw numbers but Ayton’s rate numbers are even more impressive. He is grabbing 29.1% of available defensive rebounds, 11.8% of available offensive rebounds, and 21.2% of available total rebounds. Those numbers would rank him 9th (DRB%), 15th (ORB%), and 7th (TRB%) in the NBA this season. 

Rebounding is a bankable skill and can immediately help any NBA team, especially the Suns who rank 23rd when it comes to DRB%. Ayton could immediately improve that number with his size and nose for the ball.

Ayton has also been an incredibly efficient shooter, with a TS% of 66.8%. This is feelings his 20.2 PPG average. His PER is record-setting which at 32.4 is the 4th highest rating among power conference players since 2010, falling behind only Trae Young (this season), Anthony Davis, and DeMarcus Cousins. Ayton is second in the country in Offensive Win Score behind only Trae Young, and 4th in Offensive Box Plus Minus.

Offensively, his talent has drawn comparisons to Karl Anthony Towns.

Points per 40

Boards per 40






DeAndre Ayton








Karl-Anthony Towns








In fact, Ayton compares favorably to Towns in just about every major category. Towns did play significantly fewer minutes than Ayton has been (21.1 compared to 32.1), but the rate stats still favor Ayton. One more very telling stat when comparing the pair is that through 39 games Towns had 391 points produced while Ayton already has 333 points produced through 18 games.

Ayton’s offensive skill would a huge asset to the Suns. With Chandler in full decline and Len still a question mark (and no guarantee to be back following the season anyway), the Suns could use an offensive big man to play along with Booker. Ayton would provide Booker with an excellent PnR partner as well as a player that the Suns could throw it to with an ability to go get a bucket when they need it most. Ayton would also pair well next to Marquese Chriss or Dragan Bender because he does have the ability to space out to 18 feet and knock down a jumper which will open up the lane for current Suns Sophomores to operate, as well as for players like Devin Booker to drive and T.J. Warren to mix in his cuts.

Next: Suns Squared: DeAndre Ayton

Ayton’s offensive game is going to push him to the top of the draft boards come June. He is tailor-made to fit with the Suns’ current roster and would be a huge asset as he helps them build for the future.