3 Phoenix Suns players who will benefit the most from adding Durant

Phoenix Suns, Mikal Bridges, Kevin Durant (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Phoenix Suns, Mikal Bridges, Kevin Durant (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) /
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: Deandre Ayton #22 of the Phoenix Suns
(Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images) /

Besides CP3 getting some more support and the Suns getting another clutch performer, two more players should especially benefit from the addition of KD.

Ayton can be the answer when he is needed and the alternative when he is not

We have often been disappointed when Deandre Ayton was always expected to be at least the third, if not second, scorer for the Suns. However, now that the Suns have Booker, Paul, and Durant in the line-up, Ayton is going to be the third or fourth option at best on offense. This reduced pressure and reduced focus should improve Ayton’s game.

Addin the fact that Durant likes to attack the basket and averages more than five assists per contest, and it would be safe to assume that Ayton will get some more easy buckets courtesy of KD.

Further, when the Suns play teams with a big center to stop Ayton, he should have even more room and opportunity to go to work. More teams will scramble to cover the floor as Durant will help spread it more, giving Ayton more room around the basket.

If we add in Durant’s super high basketball IQ, that too should help Ayton, and anything that can help the big man continue to develop is good for the Suns.

Lee is going to get chances aplenty with this new Suns squad

Damion Lee is one non-starter likely to reap massive rewards from the Durant deal. First, with the twins gone, Lee has moved up in the wing rotation, which means more minutes. Second, Lee is one of the few ‘wings’ on the Suns who can legitimately play both guard and forward, providing both ball-handling, shooting, and some inside toughness.

Like Ayton, Lee is likely to benefit from defenses having so many other players to worry about, his open looks at three-pointers should increase, and he is already supremely efficient shooting over 44% from distance. With teams rushing to close out on Durant and Booker, a simple extra pass should find Lee as a beneficiary.

Ultimately, if Phoenix wins the title this season, it will be because Durant and Booker led us there. That said, even KD and DBook cannot do it alone, and improved play and efficiency for Paul, D Lee, and Ayton will be a significant factor in the Suns’ success. And we will be able to attribute no small chunk of that improvement to the arrival of KD.

Next. Booker, Ayton, balance, keys for Suns against Pacers. dark