Deandre Ayton is the Phoenix Suns’ best center ever

Phoenix Suns, Deandre Ayton (Photo by Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Phoenix Suns, Deandre Ayton (Photo by Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images) /

The Phoenix Suns haven’t had many All-Star caliber centers, but Deandre Ayton is the best they’ve ever had.

Deandre Ayton was the first number one overall draft pick in Phoenix Suns franchise history and although it does not feel like it sometimes, he has so far lived up to the hype. The young paint beast is already one of, if not the best center of all-time for Phoenix.

I posted a poll in a Phoenix Suns Facebook group asking if Ayton was already the team’s best center ever, the winning result was, “He will be very soon” with 126 votes out of a total of 147 votes. “Yes” was second, “No” was third, and “I’m still upset over Luka” came in last place.

Since coming to Phoenix, Ayton has shown tons of talent, potential, and natural skill, which is perfect for a team that is still searching for their first-ever NBA Championship. DA is the Suns’ best center since trading for an aging Shaquille O’Neal in 2008.

The overall consensus may be that Alvan Adams is the best center the Suns have ever had, but I think Ayton has already taken his spot on the throne.

After watching every game of Ayton’s young career, and hearing from the fanbase, here is why I think Ayton is the Suns best center in franchise history.

Related Story. Bleacher Report ranks Ayton among league's best centers. light

Deandre Ayton is the best center is Phoenix Suns history.

Due to Ayton being so young, he only has a small sample size compared to Alvan Adams who played a total of 13 seasons in the NBA, which were all as a member of the Phoenix Suns. Their rookie seasons were extremely similar, but in terms of individual performance, I will give the edge to Ayton.

Deandre averaged 16.3 points per game, and 10.3 rebounds on 58.5 percent from the field despite the only players who were really able to feed him the ball inside being Devin Booker and Josh Jackson on a weak Suns team.

While Ayton had a tremendous rookie campaign, Adams also showed out with 19 points per game, 9.1 rebounds, 5.6 assists, an All-Star appearance, winning Rookie of the Year, and making a trip to the NBA Finals. Adams’ selection to the All-Star team as a rookie being a contributing piece to a finals team may be enough to give him the edge, but I am going strictly off of individual performance.

I do not think it is fair to factor in Adams’ team success in this debate. Alvan had some very good teammates and his GM made some winning moves that offseason, while Ayton’s GM never seemed to want to build a winning roster. Deandre has the highest field goal percentage by a rookie who averaged at least 16 points, and 10 rebounds in NBA history and that list includes Shaq, Tim Duncan, Karl-Anthony Towns, and Hakeem Olajuwon.

light. Related Story. Ayton might finally shoot 3s at Disney

Ayton and Adams’ sophomore seasons were once again very similar, but I will once again give Ayton the edge. Ayton may have only played in 30 games compared to Adams’ 72, but Ayton was impactful in almost every single game and was a part of the lineup with the highest net rating in the entire NBA.

Ayton averaged another double-double with 19 points, 12 rebounds, and 1.7 blocks, on 54.8 percent from the field compared to Adams’ 18 points per game, 9.1 rebounds, and 4.5 assists on a very good 47.4 percent but not quite as good to Ayton.

Overall, Ayton has looked completely different from his rookie season and will have another opportunity to prove himself when the Suns take the floor at Disney.

Ayton has had such a good career for the Suns so far I do not think it is even worth comparing him to the other top Suns centers such as Tyson Chandler, Shaq, and Mark West. In my personal opinion, Ayton is the Suns’ best center ever, but if not, all he needs is a few more years and an All-Star appearance to cement his standings.

How Ayton compares to NBA great centers. dark. Next