Deandre Ayton is projected to be a top-25 player in five years

Deandre Ayton Phoenix Suns (Photo by Rocky Widner/NBAE via Getty Images)
Deandre Ayton Phoenix Suns (Photo by Rocky Widner/NBAE via Getty Images) /
facebooktwitterreddit is counting down the top-50 NBA players will be in five years. Phoenix Suns center Deandre Ayton has finally cracked the list.

When the Phoenix Suns selected Deandre Ayton first overall in 2018, they were expecting to be drafting a star.

Obviously no  team expects to draft a flop when they have the opportunity to take who they feel will be the best player in an entire draft, but the selection for Phoenix was a very important one because it was the first time in franchise history that they had the first overall pick, and they had the opportunity to select a franchise-altering center for the first time ever as well.

Led by author Kurt Helin, has been counting down their projections for the league’s best players in five years, with Deandre Ayton falling at number 21, directly ahead of Ja Morant and Kyrie Irving.

Noting Ayton’s very good rookie statistics (16.3 points per game along with 10.3 rebounds), Helin further speculated in most seasons, his stats would have been more than good enough to take home the Rookie of the Year award.

Essentially, had it not been for the league’s current infatuation with point guards, and this past season in particular that of Luka Doncic and Trae Young, Deandre would have taken home the Rookie of the Year award – an argument I made three months ago, and an event that never materialized because of the team’s overall record.

Imagine though, if Ayton is properly coached and his teammates continually improving, how much better his statistics can be in five years than they were his rookie season – and they were already fairly impressive.

While statistics are extremely difficult to project five years into the future, and one would never expect Ayton to average anything like 30 points and 15 rebounds a game in his prime (those would be assuredly hall of fame numbers, which would easily place him in the top-five in the league, not just top-25), it is not difficult to imagine though that Ayton could be a force of around 23 points and 11 rebounds per game by 2023-24, when this list projects out to.

At that point too, it would be his defense mostly that would keep his rating so far down such a list. He averaged less than a block per game his rookie season (0.9), however, if he could at least bring his average to a more respectable (and generally decent stat for a center) 1.5 blocks per game, combined with the 23 and 11 stat line from above, he will be solid-enough statistically to easily place himself in the top-25 in the league.

While we do not yet know who Helin has projected as the top-20 players in the league in five years, and assuming that Devin Booker is top-20 already as he has yet to make the list as of yet, having two top-25 players on one roster would presumably make the Phoenix Suns a very good (and still young) team – something that fans have been dreaming of and should excite them tremendously.

Next. What scoring-highs will Devin Booker break this season. dark

Hopefully this season Ayton takes a significant step forward and is able to continue his individual growth over the next few years, reaching the start of his prime by or before the 2023-24 season.

Hopefully too, Devin Booker is able to continue his growth, and the one-two punch of Ayton and Booker is one of the most dynamic in the entire NBA.