3 Things Phoenix Suns Big Deandre Ayton Must Work on in Offseason

Phoenix Suns, Deandre Ayton. Mandatory Credit: John Hefti-USA TODAY Sports
Phoenix Suns, Deandre Ayton. Mandatory Credit: John Hefti-USA TODAY Sports /
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Phoenix Suns, Deandre Ayton
Phoenix Suns, Deandre Ayton (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images) /

Phoenix Suns Big Deandre Ayton Must Work on his Ball Handling

A unique blend of power and speed represents Ayton’s greatest on-court asset. The paradox of brute strength and acceleration makes him a handful to deal with.

Right now, Ayton is regulated to mostly showing off his athleticism in pick-and-roll situations with him being the roll-man or when he crashes the boards. Ayton has shown to be a master at finishing in those roll-man situations and fearlessly goes after extra opportunities on offense.

However, Ayton is simultaneously holding himself back from his full potential as a scorer because he struggles to create easy pathways to his desired scoring spots on the floor.

Almost every Ayton bucket requires a teammate to set him up for the score. In Ayton’s first three seasons his shots were assists 71.1 percent, 74.8 percent, and 71.6 percent of the time. In his fourth year, that number rose to 81.2 percent.

The big jump in assisted field goals can be attributed to the Suns acquiring a generational dime dropper in Paul, but still, those who watch Ayton play know he struggles to set up his own scoring opportunities.

Dribbling is not the first thing that comes to mind when you think of Deandre Ayton, but dunking might be. Want to know how Ayton can rack up more dunks than ever before? By making himself a triple threat. I already mentioned how expanding his shooting range could take his game to next level, but the same can be said about putting the ball on the floor.

Ayton needs to develop a few strong and quick go-to-moves in the face-up position. Whether a jab step, power dribble, or even a drop-step, he needs something that he can go to that will net him efficient opportunities on the offensive end of the floor.

If Ayton adds in more moves to the mix, he becomes unstoppable from entering the paint. From there, it’s like taking candy from a baby.