Free Throws and Outside Shooting
If you look up you will see a photo of Deandre Ayton attempting a free throw. One part of the photo that might stand out is that it is from last season. This is because he has not attempted a free throw this season in both his lone regular season game, or the three preseason games he has played.
The most underrated part of being an elite offensive player is being great at getting to the free throw line. As Devin Booker has gotten better at it his offensive efficiency has picked up, and that is taken to the next level when you look at James Harden. A true post player like Ayton will not be able to garner those types of free throw numbers, but he needs to improve.
Last season playing exclusively out of the post Ayton averaged only 2.7 free throws attempted a game. That would put him just behind Frank Kaminsky, who is averaging 2.9 attempts a game, this season. For as good of a finisher as Ayton is in the paint, Kaminsky has been almost equally as bad, which is another reason Ayton should be living at the line.
The flashier part of Ayton’s offensive game that will be watched closely is his three point shooting. During his suspension every big the Phoenix Suns have played regularly will shoot an open three pointer.
To start off it is fine for him to only shoot one or two a game, and he truly only needs to get above 25% at that low of clip. He needs to show defenses that he will attempt the shot, and can sometimes make it, so that it opens up the best parts of his game and helps his teammates.
Ayton is good enough that he should not have to fit into a system, becoming a spot up shooter. However that system has shown that the shot is going to be available for him, and he needs to at least start shooting it.