Watch: Why Deandre Ayton didn’t shoot a three in preseason

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

Fresh with a new four-year, $133 million contract, eyes are locked on what extra elements Deandre Ayton could bring to the Phoenix Suns this season.

One of the major aspects has been the development of a three-point shot; an extension to Ayton’s incredibly efficient mid-range game. At the beginning of training camp, coach Monty Williams confirmed that Ayton was working on the corner three, garnering optimism and expectation about that specific prospect in the Suns offense. However, a recent video suggests it’ll be awhile before we see in-game attempts.

Fans should temper expectations about the incorporation of Deandre Ayton’s three-point shooting to the Phoenix Suns offense.

Arizona Sports’ Duane Rankine posted a video of shooting practice at training last week, with Suns big men Jock Landale, Dario Saric and Ayton all involved. It’s fair to say that the 24-year-old’s shooting form was less than ideal…

Ayton didn’t shoot any threes over his trio of preseason games, an unsurprising result if we’re basing it on the above video. The shooting mechanics are almost painful to watch — the release point and timing are way off, with the subsequent arc flat and completely unforgiving. There’s no lift whatsoever, a stark contrast to Saric who displays an efficient stroke and knocks down the majority of shots.

On reflection, this isn’t a major surprise given the mechanics on his mid-range jumpshot. Take notice and you’ll see an often low trajectory that warrants the term ‘line drive’. His efficiency remained superb last season though, knocking down 56.5% of shots from between 8-16 feet.

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It’s those numbers that gave optimism to his potential corner three, with Ayton even shooting 39.5% from between 16-24 feet. Perhaps the video is a small sample that paints Ayton’s shot in a negative light, that the consistent reality is much more refined. Still, don’t expect to see the big man extending his range dramatically over the coming months.