Phoenix Suns: Deandre Ayton building corner three, so what’s the expectation?

Phoenix Suns, Deandre Ayton. Mandatory Credit: John Hefti-USA TODAY Sports
Phoenix Suns, Deandre Ayton. Mandatory Credit: John Hefti-USA TODAY Sports /

While there may be some pessimism around Deandre Ayton’s future with the Phoenix Suns, there’s also cause for excitement and optimism as he continues to grow an already efficient personal game.

With Phoenix’s offense crumbling in game seven against the Dallas Mavericks, and their subsequent offseason predicated on internal development rather than major signings, the Suns are looking towards Ayton as a key piece to significant team development.

Big man Deandre Ayton looks set to begin taking corner threes, with the Phoenix Suns aiming to expand their offensive arsenal going into 2022-23.

Despite developing into an elite mid-range shooter, the former number one overall pick has been hesitant to extend his range beyond the perimeter. That’s now about to change as the Suns delve into a more versatile offensive system.

So, the question is how many Ayton should take, and more importantly, what’s a realistic percentage for him to make? It’s fair to say that history doesn’t tell us a whole lot when evaluating this situation.

Ayton went 7-for-19 (36.8%) on three-point attempts last season, a fairly impressive rate albeit with extremely low volume. However, all of these were from above-the-break; there were ZERO corner three-point attempts.

In fact, Ayton has taken two total in his four-year career; one from the left corner and one from the right, going 1-for-2. Providing realistic expectations on Ayton’s three-point percentage is obviously determined by the expected volume,

Shooting just over one corner three per game would be a good start; it would be unfair to think he’ll just starting bombing away two or three straight away. Who knows, perhaps it becomes a genuine strength and the Suns lean into it more often.

In terms of a percentage, we have to remember these will be almost always be open or wide open catch-and-shoot attempts from the playmaking of Chris Paul and Devin Booker. That mark of 36.8% may be a good starting point, although the occasional above-the-break three may bring his overall percentage down to 35%.

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So, if Ayton can total 1.5 threes per game at 35% then that’s a nice addition to his own game and the versatility of the team. Obviously it’ll be a work in progress, but it’s exciting for Suns fans knowing they’ll at least see something new and different heading into this season.