Suns intend to keep center Deandre Ayton, according to report

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By Webdesk

NBA: Dallas Mavericks at Phoenix Suns
Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY Sports

Despite ongoing rumors about his future in Phoenix, the Suns plan to keep center Deandre Ayton on the roster, according to Chris Haynes of Bleacher Report. The Suns drafted Ayton with the first overall pick in the 2018 NBA Draft, and he’s been the team’s starting point ever since.

The Suns have turned things upside down since they were eliminated by the Denver Nuggets in the Western Conference Semifinals last month. First, they parted ways with head coach Monty Williams and replaced him with Frank Vogel, who led the Los Angeles Lakers to a championship in 2020. Most recently, the team traded for All-Star guard Bradley Beal from the Washington Wizards. Beal will team up with Kevin Durant and Devin Booker to form arguably the best trio in the league. However, the rest of the roster still needs some work.

There was speculation that the Suns could flip Ayton to bolster their depth, but it looks like the team will stick with the big man instead. He expects to be the fourth starter alongside Beal, Booker and Durant. For what it’s worth, Ayton recently stated that he would like to stay in Phoenix.

“Man, I love Phoenix,” Ayton said last month. “Honestly, I keep playing hard for Phoenix, and keep repeating Phoenix like I’ve always played Phoenix, and that’s about it. I don’t listen to the outside noise. I’m here. I’m Merry.”

It makes sense that the Suns would want to hold Ayton. He’s been a prolific player over the course of his career and they’re going to need a serviceable big man to take on the likes of Nikola Jokic and some of the other bigger bodies in the West. Plus, Frank Vogel has a history of building very good defenses anchored by a big man, and Ayton fits that mold. Vogel got the best out of Roy Hibbert during his Indiana days, and Phoenix probably hopes he can do the same with Ayton.

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