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Suns’ Richaun Holmes starts over Deandre Ayton vs. Blazers

The Phoenix Suns are playing the Portland Trail Blazers on the road Thursday night. However, there was something strange about the team’s starting lineup. It lacked one key element in their rotation. The first overall pick in the 2018 NBA draft, Deandre Ayton, was omitted and did not start for his team despite being active:

The rookie has been replaced by former Philadelphia 76ers center Richaun Holmes, who is starting his first game this season. It was reported that Ayton’s benching was due to an illness, but saw plenty of time off the bench in the first half. The decision to go with Holmes instead of Ayton created a negative reaction from some of the Suns’ supporters:

The Suns are the worst team in the league right now. They entered Thursday’s game last in the NBA with a disastrous record of 4-20, and they got off to another awful start against Portland.

As a standout for the Arizona Wildcats in the NCAA, Ayton produced impressive numbers during his lone season with the team. He averaged 20.1 points and 11.6 rebounds per game in the 2017-2018 season.

Deandre Ayton did not have to travel far from his alma mater as he was picked by the Suns in June in hopes that he would be the franchise’s savior. He has shown flashes of his brilliance on the court despite playing for a struggling team. Ayton has notched an incredible 13 double-doubles in the first 24 games of his career.