1. What is the deal with Deandre Ayton?
If there is one question that is going to be doing the rounds at media day, it is what exactly is going on with Ayton? The big man started the summer looking like the odd man out, before the Suns decided to ship Paul and leave him manning the middle.
Then James Harden decided he wanted to leave the Philadelphia 76ers, and for a moment there it looked like the franchise might go guard heavy and lose Ayton in the process. Finally, and most recently, it was rumored that the Suns were going to be involved in the deal that would help Damian Lillard finally get his wish and go from the Portland Trail Blazers to the Miami Heat.
Yet through all of this, Ayton has never said a word and instead had a really nice showing in helping The Bahamas get through to a final Olympic qualifying tournament next year. He did this alongside new teammate, Eric Gordon. So while Ayton doesn’t exactly deserve credit for how he has handled the chatter, he hasn’t dealt with it badly either.
At this point in time, it does feel like a matter of when and not if the Suns move on from the former first overall pick. This despite Ayton being only 25-years-old and one of the top 10 bigs in the league today. But there is something about his lack of effort, and interest, when on the court that has long annoyed most Suns fans.
It may be that a departure is best for both the player and organization, but the reality is that the market for Ayton is not what the Suns would like it to be. He is owed over $100 million for the next three seasons, and is worth more where he is than anywhere else in the league. Expect a ton of speculation and tough questions being fired everybody’s way about Ayton at media day.