Deandre Ayton was a crucial component to the Phoenix Suns' recent Finals run. While they didn't manage to beat the Milwaukee Bucks, this was certainly a great run considering the position they were in during the 2019-20 season, where they didn't end up making the playoffs. Deandre Ayton's rim protection and rebounding were on full display during the playoffs, even against tougher matchups.
There's no doubt that Ayton's skill set is extremely valuable, and the young center feels the same way. When speaking to Justin Termine and Eddie Johnson, Ayton stated his belief that he's the "most wanted big man in the league".
I feel like I'm the most wanted big man in the league. To be honest, I've set a foundation for myself and the team, where they can depend on me. My requirement is to protect the paint, is to block shots, is to rebound. Now, I wanna add more. I already figured out that part, what I can do on a night to night basis. Playing hard and competing.
But I wanna get to the line now. I want to push that ball, I want to playmake better. I want to be more of an offensive threat. That's the things I've been working on this entire time... busting my tail on, being way more of a threat.
Me, defense is a thing. Defense wins championships. That's what this team is all about, we play defense, man. Me, I think I'm the anchor of that, and I make hell for a lot of people on that end, and I take pride on that.
Deandre Ayton was certainly a big part of the team on the defensive end. MVP Nikola Jokic has praised Deandre Ayton for guarding him really well in the past, and there's no doubt that Ayton will only get better as he progresses. His focus on offensive improvement is also something to be noted, and he could potentially become a two-way force down the line.
The Phoenix Suns will aim to get back to the NBA Finals next season, and potentially finish the job. It remains to be seen whether they will be able to make it back, but they certainly have a lot of talent on the squad and they are clearly a contender.