This past offseason was the most exciting in Phoenix Suns memory. For the Valley of the Sun, the Suns have been the most successful organization. They were the 5th winningest NBA franchise in history until just recently. They lost out on Kareem Abdul Jabaar on a coin flip, a COIN FLIP. That was just the beginning of heartache for the Suns. Most ‘millennial’ Suns fans have the images of Steve Nash with a ‘bloodied’ nose or playing with one eye while his other eye was swollen shut. Or the most depressing one. Two-time MVP Steve Nash was checked into the side by Robert Horry and A’mare Stoudemire and Boris Diaw took a few steps onto the court, eventually being suspended 1 ‘ultra’ critical game against ‘the big fundamental’, Tim Duncan and the Spurs. That was our best chance at a Championship, the ’93 never really stood a chance because, well, MJ was in his prime with the Bulls. When asked prior to the draft where he thought he’d end up, Deandre Ayton said Phoenix because he thought to play next to Devin Booker they would be Shaq/Kobe 2.0.
The Suns have never had a player like Ayton. Certainly not a tandem of Booker and Ayton. Exciting times ahead for Suns fans. Ayton was born to play this game. His size and quickness for his size are unmatched. Growing up in the Bahamas, Ayton was exposed to soccer before basketball. This is why is footwork is far beyond his years. He can play with his back to the basket, very calm, doesn’t force anything, great in the post, and he can nail a 15 ft. jumper in your face with regularity. An absolute genetic freak. The best part about Ayton though is his personality. He wants to be great and he embraces that being the top pick. A lot of people compare Ayton to Shaq, but in fact, he’s going to be better than Shaq. Can you imagine if Shaq had a jump shot? Being compared to Shaq does Ayton a disservice. Ayton shoots about 75% from the Free Throw line and can step out and knock down a 15-20 ft jump shot. As you saw him do to Deandre Jordan in the first game. He’ll be his own person on the court, a player unlike any we’ve seen. Unfortunately, not a lot of people outside of Arizona Wildcats fans got to see Ayton’s true personality after he was the victim of a false ESPN report early on in his freshman season.
Devin Booker is going to get so many more open lanes to go-to-work now that Deandre is there to occupy some space. We saw it in the first game when Booker put his head down and took it to the basket. The lanes were open all day long. Then he punished the Mavericks in the 4th quarter scoring 19 points in the final quarter. Together, the two former Wildcats will get the Suns the No. 8 seed in year 1, most likely going down to the Warriors in the first round this season. Then next year, Phoenix be a good free agent destination and that is when the Suns will officially be back. For Suns fans, we’ve waited way too long to have a winning product in Phoenix. Ayton is just the beginning of something special in Phoenix so why not get excited about it?