Dario Saric is a newcomer for the Phoenix Suns, but it didn't take long for him to appreciate the massive potential of Deandre Ayton — even comparing the sophomore center to the likes of Joel Embiid and Karl-Anthony Towns.
In an interview with AZCentral.com's Duane Rankin, Saric said:
Both of them are really good offensively. Both of them are probably top three, top two big men in the league. Deandre is extremely talented. He's a guy who for sure one day could come upon that level like those two guys. I don't know if that’ll be next year, this year, for two years, three years, but what I see from him is similar. He can shoot. He can play on the low post. He's great on defense. I think he can be like them. He's got the potential to be like them, maybe even better than them. One day, he will be on their level.
Embiid and Towns are considered two of the best centers in today's NBA, along with Nikola Jokic of the Denver Nuggets. Both stars have earned their respective franchise player tags for the Philadelphia 76ers and Minnesota Timberwolves.
One might consider Saric's statement as ludicrous, but Ayton, last season's No.1 overall draft pick, is no slouch by all means. In 71 games for the Suns, the former Arizona star averaged 16.3 points, 10.3 rebounds, and 1.8 assists with almost a block and a steal in 30.7 minutes per game.
Ayton also possesses the skills to perfectly complement his physical traits. The 7-foot-1 behemoth has a feathery touch around the basket, good hands, and solid footwork for a man his size.
The arrival of Ricky Rubio is expected to accelerate the development of Ayton along with the guidance of head coach Monty Williams whose last big-man project in Anthony Davis turned out to be a pretty good player.