Analyzing the current Phoenix Suns depth chart

Phoenix Suns Devin Booker Deandre Ayton (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Phoenix Suns Devin Booker Deandre Ayton (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /
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Deandre Ayton Phoenix Suns (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Deandre Ayton Phoenix Suns (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /


Deandre Ayton, Aron Baynes

Shaquille O’Neal.

Prior to his draft selection by the Phoenix Suns last year, Deandre Ayton compared himself to Shaquille O’Neal.

And to be fair, Ayton had a really good year, all things considered.

Sure, he didn’t have quite the same numbers that Shaq had his rookie season (the future Shaqtus averaged 23.4 points, and career-highs of 13.9 rebounds and 3.5 blocks per game compared to Ayton’s 16.3 points, 10.3 rebounds, and 0.9 blocks per outing), but to be somewhat fair to Ayton, while Shaq had Scott Skiles running the team’s offense who once set the NBA record for most assists in a game with 30, Ayton had…Tyler Johnson, Elie Okobo, and De’Anthony Melton.

The Suns were a mess and Ayton was one of the most affected by that mess.

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Ayton is, however, still very good, and looks to take a step forward, especially offensively, this coming season, which – if James Jones can find a legitimate point guard to run the show – should allow him to begin to make his first real  impression on the league.

Deandre scored between 20 and 29 points only 20 times last season and 30+ points once.

If that kind of output can come more consistently, and his rebounding takes a tick up, (he grabbed 13+ boards only 13 times and 17 or 18 boards only five times), he will be the next dominant center in the NBA.

It will also be very interesting if Monty has Ayton begin to shoot from the outside more as he only attempted four 3’s on the tear, missing them all, after shooting 12-35 at the University of Arizona in 35 games.

As a back up, Phoenix will lose fan-favorite Richaun Holmes, but Jones did acquire Aron Baynes to on draft night.

Baynes is a quality reserve and while he is not going to provide a lot in either scoring or rebounding, he too is actually considered a stretch-player having averaged a career-high 34.4% from beyond the arc last season in Boston, draining 21-61 3’s.

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James Jones has undoubtedly taken the 2017-19 Phoenix Suns’ greatest weakness (shooting) and begun the process of making it a strength with so much summer left before us prior to the start of Training Camp.

This is how the depth chart looks today without any trades or free agency signings, nor the potentially re-upping of Kelly Oubre. However, we all expect some more major changes to occur and will know soon enough how the roster will truly look for this upcoming season once the offseason really goes into high gear on June 30.