Suns All-Star Competition for Devin Booker, Chris Paul, Deandre Ayton

Phoenix Suns, Devin Booker, Chris Paul, Deandre Ayton. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Phoenix Suns, Devin Booker, Chris Paul, Deandre Ayton. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports /
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Phoenix Suns, Deandre Ayton
Phoenix Suns, Deandre Ayton. Mandatory Credit: David Berding-USA TODAY Sports /

Phoenix Suns Center Deandre Ayton 2022 All-Star Competition

Deandre Ayton – 17.0 PPG, 11.1 RPG, 1.6 APG (.626/.143)

With the frontcourt allowing three votes, Deandre Ayton finds himself with a greater probability to make this year’s All-Star game than his backcourt teammates. However, he also finds himself up against a much larger competition pool, which stretches out to small forwards as well.

But regardless, Ayton already made notable strides with his play this year, carving out a +2.6 point per game increase from the year prior, making him the fourth highest scoring big in the NBA. Also shooting at a 62.6 percent clip, he owns the league’s seventh highest field goal percentage.

Nikola Jokic – 25.8 PPG, 14.0 RPG, 7.1 APG (.559/.350)

As the reigning MVP and an early candidate for the award again this year, Jokic remains a tier above Ayton and almost certain to attain more votes than him. His numbers also reflect his superiority, with the Joker averaging far more points, rebounds, and assists.

I would like to pretend that this does not matter when giving out honors, but general likability also factors into voting, and I cannot think of a more likeable player than Jokic. Constantly cracking jokes and with a child-like approach to the game, he makes watching the game fun, and therefore easy to vote for.

Karl Anthony Towns – 24.5 PPG, 9.1 RPG, 1.6 APG (.510/.426)

Even with a recent trip into league health and safety protocols, KAT finds himself enjoying another fantastic season.

When compared to Ayton, he holds a +7.4 point per game advantage, while Ayton averages 2.0 more rebounds per game. Their assist totals mirror each other, which then takes us to the efficiency side of things.

From the field, Ayton shoots the ball far better, owning a double-digit lead in percentage points. But Towns’s 3-point shooting ability as a big makes him special, and leaves Ayton in the dust in that regard, shooting a career-high 42.6 percent.

With so many variables contradicting Ayton and Towns, this one feels like a toss up for the most part. However, with points per game typically carrying the most weight, odds are that Towns stretches out to a slim lead to begin voting.

Rudy Gobert – 15.4 PPG, 14.9 RPG, 1.1 APG, 2.3 BPG (.731/.000)

As a more defensive minded big, Rudy Gobert compares differently to Ayton than every other big on this report. His blocks per game tally ranks second, and his rebounds per game reign supreme over all NBA players, including Ayton.

Gobert also shoots far better from the field, and neither player really possesses a 3-point shot, allowing us to toss that out the window. However, Ayton takes the cake this time around when it comes to points and assists.

Gobert surely deserves some appraisal for his dominance as a defender, but from a voting perspective, it feels like NBA fans this year have grown tired of Gobert only putting up strong defensive numbers, especially after last year’s postseason. Other players previously earned the nod over Paul and Booker due to their likability and the importance of scoring, so this time around, it works in Ayton’s favor, as he likely takes an early lead over Gobert.

LeBron James – 27.6 PPG, 7.0 RPG, 6.7 APG (.520/.353)

King James quietly finds himself enjoying another incredible season, likely overshadowed by his team’s undying issues. As it stands now, he appears better than Ayton across every statistical category minus field goal percentage.

James also carries the largest fanbase for an individual player arguably in NBA history. He makes this year’s All-Star game without question, and over Ayton if it comes down to them both.

Jonas Valanciunas – 18.5 PPG, 12.0 RPG, 2.4 APG, (.522/.453)

As another 3-point shooting big man, Valanciunas is enjoying a career-year with the Grizzlies. Although his numbers stand close, he still outduels Ayton from a statistical standpoint everywhere except field goal percentage.

He might not secure more votes with Ayton as the younger, more popular player, but the numbers do not lie—Valanciunas deserves the nod over Ayton. However, with values less than two separating their scoring, rebounding, and assist numbers, and with ample time for Ayton to close that gap, he likely jumps ahead on the stat sheet and the polls by the time voting ends.

Draymond Green – 8.4 PPG, 7.9 RPG, 7.5 APG, 1.4 SPG (.547/.289)

Draymond Green’s numbers look alien to everyone else’s mentioned on this report. However, as a candidate for Defensive Player of the Year, he will earn some votes for this year’s All-Star game.

But regardless, casual fans will likely see his minimal scoring and disregard him immediately. The fan vote counts for half, and Green cannot do well there with these numbers. He might secure a late reserve spot, but not one before Ayton.

Kristaps Porzingis – 20.3 PPG, 8.0 RPG, 2.2 APG (.445/.280)

When he heats up, few look more unstoppable than Kristaps Porzingis. He currently averages more points and assists per game than Ayton, but less rebounds. For the most part, Ayton wins out with his efficiency, shooting almost 20.0 percentage points better than the lengthy Latvian.

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However, if Porzingis turns it up like he has for a few stretches this year, he might give Ayton some trouble. But for now, his inconsistency keeps him at bay, prompting Ayton to develop a voting advantage against him as well.