GM James Jones, Suns open to playing Deandre Ayton as power forward
In an interview with The Outlet podcast, Suns general manager James Jones reveals that they are open to the idea of playing the 2018 top pick at the power forward position. Jones noted that with the team’s frontcourt depth, they can definitely experiment on playing Ayton at the four alongside Aron Baynes at the five.
“This year we have — from Frank Kaminsky, Dario Saric, Cheick Diallo — we can play Deandre at power forward if we need to with Aron Baynes as our center,” Jones said. “We have a lot of depth at that position.”
Ayton is extremely athletic and possesses the perimeter skills that could make him an effective power forward. It’s also worth noting that he used to shoot from deep in his lone season in college with the Arizon Wildcats, making 12 out of his 35 overall attempts.
However, as Kellan Olson of Arizona Sports noted, Ayton played only seven minutes as power forward in the 2018-19 season — with former head coach Igor Kokoskov insisting to grow Ayton’s game from the inside out.
With the Suns now boasting a legitimate playmaking point guard in Ricky Rubio, it might not be bad to experiment and maximize Ayton’s potential on the offensive end. Besides, Phoenix is not really expected to contend for the playoffs in the loaded Western Conference, so they might as well use the opportunity to develop their young stars.