Suns center Deandre Ayton’s amazing reaction to being asked if he was a DPOY candidate
Phoenix Suns center Deandre Ayton is not yet a candidate for this season’s Defensive Player of the Year award, at least from his own eyes. The 22-year-old big man was apparently surprised when he was asked if he thinks he is performing well enough to be in the conversation for the honor, via Gerald Bourguet.
Deandre Ayton was asked if he's a Defensive Player of the Year candidate. Said he's not sure, that's the first time he's ever been asked that, but his initial response was, "Ahh, you gave me goosebumps."
— Gerald Bourguet (@GeraldBourguet) February 23, 2021
Ayton has been the starting center for the Suns ever since he was picked first overall in the 2018 NBA Draft that also featured Luka Doncic and Trae Young. His averages this season may have dipped from the previous years but the impact that he makes on defense goes beyond the numbers on the stat sheet.
The Bohemian native is currently averaging 1.1 blocks through 30 contests, seeing himself outside of the top five under the category this season. Clint Capela of the Atlanta Hawks is currently leading the pack with an average of 3.5 rejections per game, followed by the two-time DPOY winner in Utah Jazz big man Rudy Gobert with 2.8 blocks per outing.
Overall, Gobert and the reigning DPOY awardee in Milwaukee Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo are both currently headlining this season’s race for the honor. Ben Simmons, Myles Turner, and Anthony Davis are also in the conversation as well.
With tight competition, it will certainly be hard for Ayton to outperform his opponents who are all playing at a high level. Luckily for him, there are still many games left to be played and Deandre Ayton can manage to make a case for himself if he can further improve his level of play as the season progresses.