The Phoenix Suns recently moved on from one of their better players. That’s right; you read that right. No matter how you feel about Deandre Ayton, whether it be good or bad, he was one of the better players on the team. He and Devin Booker were the last two players left from the 2021 NBA Finals squad. Now it’s just Booker.
Sure, Booker and CP3 did a lot of the work for the team and were maybe the main reasons they made it anyway, but let’s not forget how good Ayton was. He was the defensive leader and a great rebounder. Sure, things started getting bad, and it was definitely time for a change of scenery, but the man will never be forgotten as a Suns player.
With that being said, he has a great opportunity in Portland. He can finally be the guy for a team. However, they won’t be a winning team in return. But his stats will be there, and his game may even look better than it did in Phoenix.
In fact, The Athletic thinks he will be a breakout player in 2023-24. Here is a little blurb of what they think about the former No. 1 overall pick next season:
"Deandre Ayton: It might seem odd singling out a guy who averaged 18 points and ten rebounds last season, but Ayton figures to have a much larger offensive role with Portland than he did last season in Phoenix. Ayton attempted the third most shots on the Suns last season (13.2 a game), which ranked behind Devin Booker (20.1) and Kevin Durant (16), but he figures to see an uptick in touches with Portland as he becomes one of the focal points of the offense. It’s a safe bet that Ayton will post career highs in scoring and shots this season as one of the more veteran and accomplished players on Portland’s young roster. — Jason Quick, The Athletic"
Ayton will get to show that postgame he always wanted to show off in Phoenix. Not to mention, he thinks that he can be dominant and he thinks he can be one of the best centers in the league. Now, with him not behind Devin Booker, Kevin Durant, and even Bradley Beal, we will get to see if he can do it.
Don’t feel sorry, though, if you are a Suns fan. He wanted out, and now the Suns got better because of it. Ayton may be a breakout player, but the Suns are trying to break into the NBA Finals. Plus, they have their own breakout player.