Phoenix Suns: 3 Reasons Why Deandre Ayton Deserves a Max Extension

Phoenix Suns, Deandre Ayton. Mandatory Credit: Elsa/POOL PHOTOS-USA TODAY Sports
Phoenix Suns, Deandre Ayton. Mandatory Credit: Elsa/POOL PHOTOS-USA TODAY Sports /
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Phoenix Suns, Deandre Ayton
Phoenix Suns, Deandre Ayton (Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images) /

Why the Phoenix Suns Must Extend Deandre Ayton: Spectacular Recent Growth

During Ayton’s first two years, basketball fans mocked the Suns for selecting him, rather than bonafide superstars Luka Doncic and Trae Young. Even though Ayton made solid contributions for Phoenix during his first two seasons, he still looked like a clear miss as the first overall pick purely due to the greatness already exuding from Doncic and Young.

But last year, especially during the postseason, Ayton somewhat silenced those critiquing both his play, and the Suns for taking him at number one. As a playoff participant, he put up 15.8 points and 11.8 rebounds per game, the third and second highest amounts by a center.

Night in and night out, Ayton also came through with record-breaking efficiency numbers. The former Arizona Wildcat ended up shooting 65.8 percent from the field, the second highest by all playoff participants.

With these incredible numbers considered, and with them coming on the game’s most important stage, it finally feels fair to call Ayton’s first overall selection a reasonable choice. At this point, naming him a better player than Doncic and Young feels like a difficult argument, but he still embodies a top pick-level talent, and when you have one of those on your team, you need to make sure you lock him up long-term.

Also at only 23 years old, Ayton likely gets even better during his next few seasons as he inches into his prime. Not possessing him for those years threatens to not only hurt the team production-wise, but also feel like a dagger in the heart to fans and ownership.