Deandre Ayton
Deandre Ayton
23-Year-Old CenterC
Phoenix Suns  NBA  
Phoenix Suns
2021 Fantasy Outlook
Last year was a maturation process for Ayton, fueled by the experience and competitiveness of Chris Paul. Paul and Ayton developed a strong bond throughout the season, executing pick-and-rolls and alley-oops with aplomb, and Ayton finished the regular season with 33 double-doubles in 64 games. Paul continued to push Ayton throughout the season, and Ayton responded by exploding in the playoffs, increasing both his rebounds (from 10.5 to 11.8) and points (14.4 to 15.8) per game and displaying dominance on the offensive glass, with a total of 14 double-doubles in 22 playoff games. Fans could see Ayton's confidence and accountability build with each playoff series, leading to an increase in minutes (only Booker had more minutes for the Suns in the last two series) and allowing the team to expand their reliance on him. With the Paul-Ayton duo coming back together again this season and the trust Ayton has earned with his impressive play during the Suns' playoff run, we should expect Ayton to reach new levels on both offense and defense and reward fantasy managers as one of the top five all-around big men in the NBA and potentially worthy of a second-to-third round pick in fantasy. Read Past Outlooks
$Signed a two-year, $17.73 million contract with the Suns in July of 2018. Suns exercised $10.02 million team option for 2020-21 in October of 2019. Suns exercised $12.63 million team option for 2021-22 in December of 2020.
Personal Bio

Ayton was born in 1998 in Nassau, Bahamas to parents Andrea and Alvin Ayton. He has three brothers and two sisters. Ayton played soccer in his youth but decided to seriously pursue basketball at the age of 12. After showing promise at the Jeff Rodgers Basketball Camp in the Bahamas, he moved to the United States to attend Balboa City School before transferring to Hillcrest Prep. Ayton has played a big role in Hurricane Dorian relief efforts, as the disaster affected his native Bahamas. He pledged $100,000 in September of 2019 and later held a dinner that raised $47.000 for UNICEF's relief fund. Ayton is also involved in the Basketball Without Borders Global Camp, which he attended in 2016 as a participant and in 2019 as a coach. You can follow Ayton on Twitter (@DeandreAyton) and Instagram (@deandreayton).

College/International Summary

Ayton helped lead Arizona to the 2017-18 Pac-12 regular-season title and earned several accolades during his lone year in college -- he was named the Pac-12 Player of the Year, the Pac-12 Rookie of the Year, as well as being part of the Conference's All-Freshmen and All-Defensive teams. Furthermore, the Nassau, Bahamas native led the Wildcats to the 2018 Pac-12 Tournament title, where he was named the MVP of the tournament. The team also qualified for the 2018 NCAA Tournament but lost in the first round. In the 17-18 season, Ayton was at the top of the Pac-12 in points (704), rebounds (405), offensive rebounds (118), defensive rebounds (287), rebounds per game (11.6) and two-point field goals (264). Ayton was also second in the Pac-12 in points per game (20.1). Ayton entered the 2018 NBA Draft after his freshman year at Arizona. He was drafted as the top pick in the draft by the Phoenix Suns.

Puts up double-double in loss
CPhoenix Suns
July 18, 2021
Ayton finished Saturday's Game 5 NBA Finals loss to the Bucks with 20 points (7-12 FG, 6-6 FT), 10 rebounds, two blocked shots and one steal over 45 minutes.
ANALYSIS
The center has excelled on the boards in the Finals, averaging 13.2 rebounds per game. He bounced back from a six-point scoring effort in Game 4 with 20 points Saturday, his second-highest scoring total of the series. Ayton is shooting 57.7 percent from the field and 94.1 percent from the charity stripe through the first five games of the Finals, and he has rounded out the superb percentages with 15.2 points, 1.4 steals and 1.4 blocks in addition to his big numbers on the boards.
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Past Season Summaries
2020

Ayton played in 69 games during his third season in the NBA. The 23-year-old averaged 14.4 points, 10.5 rebounds, 1.4 assists, 1.2 blocks and 0.6 steals across 30.7 minutes per game. The 2018 No. 1 overall pick shot 62.6 percent from the field and 76.9 percent from the free-throw line. The Arizona product scored 20-plus points 21 times, including a season-high 27 on two occasions. During a 133-130 win on April 5 against the Rockets, Ayton went 10-for-14 from the field and 7-for-8 from the free-throw line. Against the Nuggets on Jan. 22, he went 11-for-13 from the field and 5-for-5 from the free-throw line. The 6-foot-11 center grabbed double-digit rebounds 54 times, including a season-high 22 against the Clippers during Game 4 of the Western Conference Finals. During the contest, he registered 19 points, 22 rebounds, four blocks, three assists and one steal. The ex-Wildcat also dished out multiple assists 35 times, including a season-high five against the Bucks during Game 3 of the NBA Finals. Defensively, Ayton snatched at least one steal 12 times, including a season-high three on two occasions. He also blocked at least one shot 61 times, two-plus blocks 29 times and three-plus shots 10 times, including a season-high five blocks twice.

2019

In his second NBA season, Ayton appeared in 38 games for the Suns, posting averages of 18.2 points, 11.5 rebounds, 1.9 assists and 1.5 blocks in 32.5 minutes -- all career-highs. The Arizona product hit 54.6 percent of his field goals, as well as a career-best 75.3 percent of his 2.3 free throw attempts per game. In his season debut against the Kings on Oct. 23, Ayton posted 18 points, 11 rebounds, four blocks and a steal in 33 minutes. From Jan. 14 to Jan. 20, Ayton had four straight double-doubles, averaging 24.3 points, 14.5 rebounds, 1.8 assists and 1.8 blocks during that span. In a win over the Knicks on Jan. 16, Ayton topped out with 26 points and 21 rebounds in 35 minutes. In a win over Detroit on Feb. 5, he posted 26 points, 12 rebounds, four assists and matched his season-high with four blocks. After the All-Star break, Ayton appeared in seven games before the league suspended the season on Mar. 11. During that span, he averaged 19.9 points, 12.0 rebounds, 2.0 blocks and 1.0 assist. After the season restarted in Orlando, Ayton saw action in all eight of the Suns' games as they ran through seeding play undefeated. In that span, Ayton averaged 15.0 points, 9.5 rebounds, 1.9 assists, 0.9 blocks and 0.5 steals in 30.0 minutes. Ayton missed 25 games early in the season due to a suspension.

2018

Ayton began his NBA career with the Phoenix Suns after being selected first overall in the draft. In his rookie season, he made 70 starts and played in 71 games. He averaged a double-double with 16.3 points and 10.3 rebounds per game. In the process, he became one of just 12 rookies since 1985 to average 15.0 points and 10.0 rebounds. On Dec. 29, Ayton scored a career-high 33 points on 16-of-20 shooting against the Denver Nuggets. His career high in rebounding was reached three times over the course of the season: against the Toronto Raptors on Nov. 2, the Boston Celtics on Dec. 19 and the Brooklyn Nets on Dec. 23. After the season, he finished third in Rookie of the Year voting and was also selected to the first-team All-Rookie squad. Ayton finished with 223 offensive rebounds, which was the 13th highest total in the league. He recorded 729 total rebounds on the year, which ranked No. 15 in the league and was the most through a player's first 71 games in franchise history.

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Past Fantasy Outlooks
2020
2019
2018
Fantasy managers were burned by Ayton in 2019-20. After playing in the season-opener against the Kings, Ayton was handed a 25-game suspension for violating the NBA's Anti-Drug program for testing positive for a diuretic. However, he performed well upon his return, averaging 18.5 points, 11.5 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 1.5 blocks from Jan. 1 onward. Ayton was efficient, hitting 54.9 percent of his field goal attempts and 76.1 percent of his free-throw tries -- the latter of which was a strong mark for a traditional big man. Heading in 2020-21, the 22-year-old will remain a building block for the Suns next to Devin Booker, as the franchise looks to make its first playoff appearance since 2009-10. He's already established himself as a double-double machine, and he also had 10 performances (out of a possible 38) last season with at least 20 points, 10 rebounds and two blocks. Ayton's clearly on a track for All-Star buzz in 2020-21, and he'll likely be selected in most fantasy drafts around the early third round, if not sooner.
The No. 1 overall pick in 2018, Ayton became just the second player in NBA history 20 years old or younger to average at least 16 points and 10 rebounds on 55 percent shooting -- the other being Shaquille O'Neal. Ayton's impressive campaign was overshadowed by a great rookie class, namely Luka Doncic winning Rookie of the Year and Trae Young having a stellar second half of the season. Ayton did have some big games, however, racking up 39 double-doubles, including 21 games with at least 20 points and five performances with at least 15 rebounds. He's a traditional center, working in the pick-and-roll (135 dunks), post (58.1% on hook shots), and mid-range (34.6% on 127 attempts from 16 feet to the three-point line). While his jumpshooting needs to be more efficient, Ayton went a respectable 12-of-35 from three in college and is a good free-throw shooter (74.6 percent at a rookie), so it seems like that should develop over time. Ayton's defense also needs some work. It was a knock on him coming out of Arizona, and he blocked just 67 shots in 71 games last season. It's possible he's never a true impact player on that end of the floor, though he has the physical tools to get there if things click. All things considered, Ayton is one of the more promising young big men in the league, and fantasy owners should expect improvement heading into Year 2.
In his lone season at Arizona, Ayton was clearly one of the most dominant big men in the country, averaging a double-double of 20.1 points and 11.6 rebounds. The 7-foot-1, 250-pounder added 1.9 blocks, consistently scaring off opposing players from attempting to get to the rim when he was in the game. Despite his size, Ayton has the athleticism and ability to run the floor in transition successfully, which should translate over well to a Suns team that played at the third-quickest pace in the NBA last season. He also has a solid jumper and showed he can knock down a three-pointer when necessary after posting a 34.3 percent clip from deep. All of those skills earned Ayton the No. 1 overall selection in the 2018 NBA Draft and he joins a Suns team that should give him every opportunity to excel right away. Concerns about his effort and motor do exist, but if Ayton does end up getting featured alongside superstar Devin Booker offensively, there's a chance he becomes a legitimate option for Fantasy owners to select in the middle rounds of most drafts. Ayton does occasionally rely on having strong facilitators that can set him up, so guys like Booker and potentially Brandon Knight could have a key part in making sure Ayton hits his upside, especially in pick-and-roll situations. While Ayton could struggle early on as a rookie transitioning to the NBA, he does have 20/10 potential on any given night if the Suns do feature him as expected. It's worth it to note that Ayton dominated summer league, averaging 14.5 points, 10.5 rebounds, 1.0 steal and 1.0 block.
More Fantasy News
Pulls down 17 boards, Suns lose
CPhoenix Suns
July 14, 2021
Ayton finished Wednesday's Game 4 against the Bucks with six points (3-9 FG), 17 rebounds, five assists and three blocks.
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Strong line isn't enough
CPhoenix Suns
July 13, 2021
Ayton recorded 18 points (8-11 FG, 2-2 FT), nine rebounds and two steals in 24 minutes during Sunday's Game 3 loss to the Bucks.
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Another double-double Tuesday
CPhoenix Suns
July 6, 2021
Ayton closed with 22 points (8-10 FG, 6-6 FT), 19 rebounds and one steal in 39 minutes during Tuesday's 118-105 victory over the Bucks.
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Dominates again in Game 6 win
CPhoenix Suns
June 30, 2021
Ayton collected 16 points (8-10 FG, 0-2 FT), 17 rebounds, two blocks and one assist in 40 minutes during Wednesday's 130-103 victory over the Clippers.
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Double-double in loss
CPhoenix Suns
June 28, 2021
Ayton tallied 10 points (5-9 FG), 11 rebounds, one assist, one steal and one block in 36 minutes during Monday's 116-102 loss to the Clippers.
ANALYSIS
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