How Deandre Ayton takes the next step for the Phoenix Suns

Phoenix Suns, Deandre Ayton. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports
Phoenix Suns, Deandre Ayton. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports /
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With Kevin Durant still out and Devin Booker doing all he can, the Phoenix Suns need Deandre Ayton to take his next step in offensive development; this is how.

Regarding Ayton, the most common thought is for the man to develop more aggression and be hungrier around the basket. However, now in his fifth season in the league, it is not that Ayton has a bad motor; he tends to stay in third gear and does not try to dominate physically. The good news is that DA can improve on both ends of the floor without changing his demeanor just by working on some basketball skills Monty Williams and the Suns should be helping to develop.

How Ayton takes his offensive production to the next level for the Suns

Yes, KD is freaking amazing; there is no denying that. However, is anyone, anywhere on planet orange, convinced that KD will play in 20+ playoff games? I know I’m not. And regardless of what KD does or does not do, the Suns need alternative scoring options, and in today’s NBA, a big man with more than half a game can feast.  Having Ayton feast is exactly what Phoenix needs, and it starts with the ball in his hands.

Ayton needs to develop some offensive alternatives

The most common thing we see from Ayton is him catching the ball near the foul line and almost immediately shooting a jumper. The good news is that Ayton can be super-efficient and shoots the midrange well on his good days. The bad news is that on his off days, he has no alternatives and keeps shooting the jumper, for better or worse.

The great part for Phoenix and Ayton is that having a relatively consistent midrange jumper can be the starting point for a new world of basketball moves; ask DBook. While DA does not need 1,000s of moves like Booker, he does need to develop a few alternatives to a 15-foot jumper and two-foot hook.