The Phoenix Suns may have lost Game 5 of the NBA Finals, but the fact that they got there is impressive in the first place. A large part of that has been the play of Deandre Ayton. Ayton is averaging 16.0 PPG and 12.1 RPG, and there is no question that his interior presence and rebounding have been key for the Phoenix Suns in these playoffs.
Deandre Ayton has developed nicely for the Phoenix Suns, and he does all the things required of him to help his team win. Perhaps others can follow his path. Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr has recently stated that he was impressed with Deandre Ayton, as well as suggesting that Warriors center James he can "follow the same path" in the future.
The most interesting thing [about the NBA Finals] has been watching Deandre Ayton. I talk to James and text him. I'm just so inspired by what Ayton has been able to do. And I think there's no reason why James can't follow that same path.
[The Suns] really streamlined his game. You think back a couple years ago and he was kind of all over the map. You could tell how gifted he was, but you weren't exactly sure what he was. They've figured it out.
I'm watching Ayton quite a bit and I'm thinking a lot about how we can use James and simplify the game and make him really effective for us next year.
James Wiseman struggled at times during his rookie season, but it was clear that he was great athletically, and could get better with more experience. Perhaps streamlining his role would allow him to thrive. While Deandre Ayton and James Wiseman are different players, Ayton provides a good model for success in a smaller role. Hopefully, James Wiseman can contribute in a similar manner for the Warriors.