Phoenix Suns: Ranking Each Member of the Young Core by Ceiling

Phoenix Suns. Mandatory Credit: Michael Wyke/Pool Photo-USA TODAY Sports
Phoenix Suns. Mandatory Credit: Michael Wyke/Pool Photo-USA TODAY Sports /
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Phoenix Suns, Deandre Ayton
Phoenix Suns, Deandre Ayton (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /

Phoenix Suns Young Core Ceilings Ranked: Deandre Ayton

With mind-boggling athleticism and agility for a big man, Deandre Ayton represents the game’s next great center. He already added a an all-time legendary NBA play to his career highlight reel with the game-stealing “valley-oop” during last year’s playoff run, and will likely contribute with even more as he grows.

Ayton stretches out to six-foot-eleven and weighs 250 pounds of pure muscle. At only 23-years-old, he already out-duelled both Anthony Davis and MVP winner Nikola Jokic last postseason. Antetokounmpo surely put an end to that incredible run, but a far as a player’s first postseason run goes, you cannot for a more impressive sequence.

He runs the break incredibly well, and last year finally showed some aggressiveness as a defender, allowing him to utilize his wide frame and record 1.2 blocks per contest. Ayton’s greatest asset though comes with his fantastic shot selection especially for only a third-year player, allowing him to post historic efficiency numbers.

Right now, this all names Ayton as the game’s best pure center, slightly ahead Rudy Gobert, but behind modern day ones like Davis, Jokic, and Joel Embiid. To pass them though, he needs to add the two things they all possess which he does not—a confident jump shot and some minor ball-handling skills.

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A greater handle on the rock feels well within Ayton’s reach going into his fourth NBA season, but very few expect him to add a jumper to his arsenal. However, if works at it, look out NBA, you might have an eventual MVP candidate on your hands.