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The NBA’s youngest team is about to tip off a new season. The Phoenix Suns are generating a lot of hype amongst their fanbase, as well as some nationally. Although they are not expected to compete for the Playoffs in the Western Conference for at least another year, the future is bright for them. The biggest riser may be rookie, and number one overall pick, Deandre Ayton. At seven feet tall and possessing a rare skillset for a man of his stature, Deandre Ayton is one of the Phoenix Suns’ rising stars.

Coming to the NBA out of the University of Arizona, where he spent just one season, Ayton is likely going to make an immediate impact. Phoenix locked up their superstar in Devin Booker earlier this year. Now, the front office is looking to surround him with winning pieces. Ayton is a big piece of the puzzle.

Averaging over 20 points and almost twelve rebounds as a Wildcat, Ayton can contribute in a major way his rookie season. Unlike a lot of prospects, he won’t need time sitting on the bench to get prepared. If he doesn’t start the season as a starter, I would expect the move to come by Thanksgiving, if not earlier.

Big Man Has Skills

Ayton comes into the league with elite passing skills. At the Suns’ open scrimmage to their season ticket holders recently, Ayton had his passing arsenal on full display, hitting teammates for driving layups when the defense collapsed on him in the high post. He also is an elite level shot blocker, sending a few of his teammate’s shots into the first few rows at Talking Stick Arena.

He has been called Shaq with a shot, among other flattering nicknames regaling his supreme talent. With new head coach Igor Kokoskov feeding the young big constant motivation, and the guidance of newly signed veteran Trevor Ariza, Ayton is in a great spot to blossom in the land of the sun. His stats will look good in his rookie campaign, and I expect him to be the clear front-runner for Rookie of the Year. Watch out for this Sun, he is rising fast.

Keep it with Sports Al Dente all year as we follow Deandre Ayton all season long as one of our West Coast players on watch!

Josh Moeschl

Author Josh Moeschl

Boston native raised in Minneapolis suburbs. Wild and Wolves are my jam. Vikings and Twins as well. Also, my Red Sawx. Always feel free to reach me via twitter or email. @jmoeschl7 Thanks for reading.

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Sports Al Dente 2019

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