The Phoenix Suns missed the postseason this year, but they were still one of the big winners of the Orlando bubble, going 8-0 and showing off the development and talent of their young, promising core. Now, center Deandre Ayton says the team is ready to build upon that impressive run and punch a ticket to the playoffs.
"Starting a winning legacy," Ayton told AZ Central when asked about his goals for the upcoming season. "Being a part of that puzzle that brings a lot to the table. Just taking that load and embracing that load as well... Being the best person I can be no matter how the season goes. Being that guy."
Ayton was taken no. 1 overall by the Suns in the 2018 draft, and while he may not get the attention that fellow draftees Luka Doncic and Trae Young have received in their first two seasons, he has quietly developed into one of the best young centers in the NBA. Last year, he averaged 18.2 points and 10.3 rebounds per game while shooting over 50% from the field.
And Ayton is paired up with Devin Booker, who looks like he may be ready to make the jump to superstar status, as the 23-year-old has put up over 26 points and six assists for the last two years. Booker was especially great in the bubble, averaging 52.3 PPG, 6.3 APG and 5.7 RPG over a three-game stretch.
With a solid roster around these two, the Suns could prove to be a force to be reckoned with in a loaded Western Conference.