The Ayton Plan

elindholm

edited for content
Joined
Sep 14, 2002
Posts
25,608
Reaction score
5,731
Location
L.A. area
Here's my thought for what to do about Ayton:

First of all, don't extend him this summer under any circumstances. Let him show what he's got in 2021-22. Hope he looks better.

Then, play the usual posturing game of announcing that you'll match any deal. Don't offer anything until the free agency period starts. Keep your ears open to chatter about who really wants him.

Seek out a sign-and-trade partner. By the summer of 2022, Chris Paul will be gone and the Suns will have ridden their little vanity playoff cameo for what it was worth. We'll have a better idea about whether certain players, particularly Johnson, Crowder, Saric, and Payne, are long-term fits. (I'm assuming that Bridges will be in the keeper group.) Ayton should have pretty good trade value, so it shouldn't be too hard to bring in additional quality pieces, but probably not another star.

Then get lucky in the draft or free agent market.
 

Mainstreet

Cruisin' Mainstreet
Supporting Member
Joined
Oct 19, 2003
Posts
96,812
Reaction score
35,269
Maybe the best thing the Suns can do to help Ayton is add a defensive power forward and more size upfront. The Suns would not receive equal value in a trade so I think this is the easier fix. Suns invested in too many guards and wings this past off season.

If he under performs in the playoffs I wouldn't pay him until he becomes a RFA. It never hurts to test his trade value this summer though.
 

Mainstreet

Cruisin' Mainstreet
Supporting Member
Joined
Oct 19, 2003
Posts
96,812
Reaction score
35,269
Another thing to consider (the idea been mostly been shot down before) is add a center and play Ayton at power forward. This would immediately give the Suns more size upfront.

Finding usable centers is usually much easier than power forwards. Ayton doesn't seem to relish going up against bigger centers.
 

AzStevenCal

ASFN IDOL
Supporting Member
Joined
Apr 2, 2004
Posts
32,881
Reaction score
10,174
Another thing to consider (the idea been mostly been shot down before) is add a center and play Ayton at power forward. This would immediately give the Suns more size upfront.

Finding usable centers is usually much easier than power forwards. Ayton doesn't seem to relish going up against bigger centers.

Add a strong defensive center and move Ayton to the 4 spot and yeah, maybe that could work. It's possible we could even be really good doing that but we'd essentially be turning Ayton into a poor man's Channing Frye and he might not like the 12 million a year that kind of play is worth. And that's if we could find a really good defensive center which isn't easy to do and if the guy has little to no offense we'd be throwing Booker and Paul to the wolves.

Anyway, without a doubt we'd be better if we could add a solid or better player at the 4 or at the 5. But IMO moving Ayton to the 4 is likely to leave us outmatched every night at both spots. And right now even with DA's frequent disappearances, I believe we win the battle at the 5 spot more than half the time.
 

Mainstreet

Cruisin' Mainstreet
Supporting Member
Joined
Oct 19, 2003
Posts
96,812
Reaction score
35,269
Add a strong defensive center and move Ayton to the 4 spot and yeah, maybe that could work. It's possible we could even be really good doing that but we'd essentially be turning Ayton into a poor man's Channing Frye and he might not like the 12 million a year that kind of play is worth. And that's if we could find a really good defensive center which isn't easy to do and if the guy has little to no offense we'd be throwing Booker and Paul to the wolves.

Anyway, without a doubt we'd be better if we could add a solid or better player at the 4 or at the 5. But IMO moving Ayton to the 4 is likely to leave us outmatched every night at both spots. And right now even with DA's frequent disappearances, I believe we win the battle at the 5 spot more than half the time.

Adding a center is probably the easiest move that's why I mention it. It immediately gives the Suns more size upfront. Playing power forward has worked out well for Anthony Davis and he gets to the basket. I'm not saying this is the right move but I wouldn't dismiss it either.
 

AzStevenCal

ASFN IDOL
Supporting Member
Joined
Apr 2, 2004
Posts
32,881
Reaction score
10,174
Adding a center is probably the easiest move that's why I mention it. It immediately gives the Suns more size upfront. Playing power forward has worked out well for Anthony Davis and he gets to the basket. I'm not saying this is the right move but I wouldn't dismiss it either.

Anthony Davis played PG in his teens; he reads the court, handles the ball and passes to a degree DA will likely never equal. If we had AD we could move him to the 4 spot too and pair him with an average center and be very good. DA is not AD and never will be but that doesn't mean that DA can't become an elite player.

DA, when he's giving effort, is great at shutting down penetration and when he does that he makes life easier for our perimeter defenders. If we get that out of Ayton I could care less about his scoring because that Ayton makes us a very good team. We had a much better scoring version of Ayton last season but he didn't impact the final score like this season's version has. We just need him to do this 9 out of 10 games rather than the roughly 4 out of 7 we've seen from him so far.
 

Mainstreet

Cruisin' Mainstreet
Supporting Member
Joined
Oct 19, 2003
Posts
96,812
Reaction score
35,269
Anthony Davis played PG in his teens; he reads the court, handles the ball and passes to a degree DA will likely never equal. If we had AD we could move him to the 4 spot too and pair him with an average center and be very good. DA is not AD and never will be but that doesn't mean that DA can't become an elite player.

DA, when he's giving effort, is great at shutting down penetration and when he does that he makes life easier for our perimeter defenders. If we get that out of Ayton I could care less about his scoring because that Ayton makes us a very good team. We had a much better scoring version of Ayton last season but he didn't impact the final score like this season's version has. We just need him to do this 9 out of 10 games rather than the roughly 4 out of 7 we've seen from him so far.

It's hard to mention the name of a player without the inevitable comparison that I didn't intend to make.

My intent is only that Ayton playing power forward shouldn't be dismissed out of hand if he doesn't progress at center.

He may not turn into Anthony Davis but he may not turn into Channing Frye either.
 

taz02

All Star
Joined
May 8, 2007
Posts
759
Reaction score
238
Here's my thought for what to do about Ayton:

First of all, don't extend him this summer under any circumstances. Let him show what he's got in 2021-22. Hope he looks better.

Then, play the usual posturing game of announcing that you'll match any deal. Don't offer anything until the free agency period starts. Keep your ears open to chatter about who really wants him.

Seek out a sign-and-trade partner. By the summer of 2022, Chris Paul will be gone and the Suns will have ridden their little vanity playoff cameo for what it was worth. We'll have a better idea about whether certain players, particularly Johnson, Crowder, Saric, and Payne, are long-term fits. (I'm assuming that Bridges will be in the keeper group.) Ayton should have pretty good trade value, so it shouldn't be too hard to bring in additional quality pieces, but probably not another star.

Then get lucky in the draft or free agent market.

No, definitely not this. We were on that train for a decade.
 

mjb21aztd

ASFN Icon
Joined
Nov 1, 2005
Posts
14,337
Reaction score
5,421
Maybe the best thing the Suns can do to help Ayton is add a defensive power forward and more size upfront. The Suns would not receive equal value in a trade so I think this is the easier fix. Suns invested in too many guards and wings this past off season.

If he under performs in the playoffs I wouldn't pay him until he becomes a RFA. It never hurts to test his trade value this summer though.
I sooooooo wanted drummond crappy he ended woth lakers could match well with ayton defense wise
 
OP
OP
elindholm

elindholm

edited for content
Joined
Sep 14, 2002
Posts
25,608
Reaction score
5,731
Location
L.A. area
No, definitely not this. We were on that train for a decade.

That was somewhat tongue-in-cheek, but the reality is that the Suns don't have the talent base to become a contender, and "Larry Bird isn't coming through that door." So it's either be content with 50-and-fade -- which is surely a big improvement over the last decade -- or start scratching off lottery tickets hoping to beat the odds.
 

Bufalay

ASFN Lifer
Joined
Jul 21, 2006
Posts
4,402
Reaction score
472
Here's my thought for what to do about Ayton:

First of all, don't extend him this summer under any circumstances. Let him show what he's got in 2021-22. Hope he looks better.

Then, play the usual posturing game of announcing that you'll match any deal. Don't offer anything until the free agency period starts. Keep your ears open to chatter about who really wants him.

Seek out a sign-and-trade partner. By the summer of 2022, Chris Paul will be gone and the Suns will have ridden their little vanity playoff cameo for what it was worth. We'll have a better idea about whether certain players, particularly Johnson, Crowder, Saric, and Payne, are long-term fits. (I'm assuming that Bridges will be in the keeper group.) Ayton should have pretty good trade value, so it shouldn't be too hard to bring in additional quality pieces, but probably not another star.

Then get lucky in the draft or free agent market.


I think this is spot on. The Suns would be smart to emulate Toronto, Portland and Houston's strategies of never tanking and staying competitive. Once you have a competitive team, which the Suns now do, I think they can stay competitive for 5 or so years as long as they don't make any catastrophically stupid moves. Signing Ayton to a max extension is an obvious candidate for this type of blunder. We'll see.
 

Finito

ASFN Icon
Joined
Oct 23, 2005
Posts
18,218
Reaction score
11,358
Add a strong defensive center and move Ayton to the 4 spot and yeah, maybe that could work. It's possible we could even be really good doing that but we'd essentially be turning Ayton into a poor man's Channing Frye and he might not like the 12 million a year that kind of play is worth. And that's if we could find a really good defensive center which isn't easy to do and if the guy has little to no offense we'd be throwing Booker and Paul to the wolves.

Anyway, without a doubt we'd be better if we could add a solid or better player at the 4 or at the 5. But IMO moving Ayton to the 4 is likely to leave us outmatched every night at both spots. And right now even with DA's frequent disappearances, I believe we win the battle at the 5 spot more than half the time.

a Poor mans Channing Frye? Seriously?
 

Proximo

ASFN Addict
Joined
Mar 8, 2015
Posts
8,333
Reaction score
5,527
Ayton is not a power forward - at all.

I don't even understand why someone would suggest that. He is bad outside of 15 feet, and really he is bad outside of 5 feet.

What he needs is to work on his post game, and moves off the dribble.
 

AzStevenCal

ASFN IDOL
Supporting Member
Joined
Apr 2, 2004
Posts
32,881
Reaction score
10,174
a Poor mans Channing Frye? Seriously?

If we move him to the 4, yeah. His strength is his ability to cover territory down low making it difficult for perimeter players to penetrate. That does him little good on the perimeter, where power forwards play in today's NBA. And like Frye he's not particularly good at rebounding outside of his space so putting him that far from the basket limits him in this regard too. And he's not yet shown the ability to make 3's as well as Frye did nor has he been as effective in the two man game (questionable hands), so yeah, poor man's Channing Frye.
 

cheesebeef

ASFN IDOL
Supporting Member
Joined
Jan 2, 2003
Posts
79,975
Reaction score
44,547
Ayton is not a power forward - at all.

I don't even understand why someone would suggest that. He is bad outside of 15 feet, and really he is bad outside of 5 feet.

What he needs is to work on his post game, and moves off the dribble.

agree. I think he’d be a disaster at the 4.
 

Ouchie-Z-Clown

I'm better than Mulli!
Joined
Sep 16, 2002
Posts
52,161
Reaction score
38,468
Location
SoCal
Another thing to consider (the idea been mostly been shot down before) is add a center and play Ayton at power forward. This would immediately give the Suns more size upfront.

Finding usable centers is usually much easier than power forwards. Ayton doesn't seem to relish going up against bigger centers.
Last season I thought Ayton showed great defensive ability on the perimeter. This year I think it completely disappeared. As a result I don’t think he’s capable of playing power forward full time.
 

Ouchie-Z-Clown

I'm better than Mulli!
Joined
Sep 16, 2002
Posts
52,161
Reaction score
38,468
Location
SoCal
Adding a center is probably the easiest move that's why I mention it. It immediately gives the Suns more size upfront. Playing power forward has worked out well for Anthony Davis and he gets to the basket. I'm not saying this is the right move but I wouldn't dismiss it either.
Anthony Davis is a VASTLY superior offensive player. Like not even in the same atmosphere. He is also much more nimble footed defensively on the perimeter and shows a capability of recovering when initially beaten off the dribble to block a shot that Ayton rarely exhibits.
 

Ouchie-Z-Clown

I'm better than Mulli!
Joined
Sep 16, 2002
Posts
52,161
Reaction score
38,468
Location
SoCal
It's hard to mention the name of a player without the inevitable comparison that I didn't intend to make.

My intent is only that Ayton playing power forward shouldn't be dismissed out of hand if he doesn't progress at center.

He may not turn into Anthony Davis but he may not turn into Channing Frye either.
If you’re pairing Ayton with another legit big one of them has to have a legit 3 point shot. Ayton obviously doesn’t. So finding a defensive center with one is not easy.
 

Mainstreet

Cruisin' Mainstreet
Supporting Member
Joined
Oct 19, 2003
Posts
96,812
Reaction score
35,269
Anthony Davis is a VASTLY superior offensive player. Like not even in the same atmosphere. He is also much more nimble footed defensively on the perimeter and shows a capability of recovering when initially beaten off the dribble to block a shot that Ayton rarely exhibits.

Again, I was not comparing Ayton to Anthony Davis. Only pointing out that power forwards can be more than stretch 4s.
 

Mainstreet

Cruisin' Mainstreet
Supporting Member
Joined
Oct 19, 2003
Posts
96,812
Reaction score
35,269
If you’re pairing Ayton with another legit big one of them has to have a legit 3 point shot. Ayton obviously doesn’t. So finding a defensive center with one is not easy.

The problem with talking about a player making a position switch, it seems like one is advocating for it which I'm not. However, if a player like Rachaun Holmes were still on the Suns roster I would tinker with it in practice or special situations to see what it looks like.

I do think Ayton has the potential to be a good outside shooter. He has a soft touch on his shot.
 

Chris_Sanders

Super Moderator
Super Moderator
Moderator
Supporting Member
Joined
Sep 14, 2002
Posts
33,362
Reaction score
18,600
Location
Scottsdale, Az
I am reserving judgement til the playoffs. I can not politely describe the effort I saw against the Warriors.
 

Hoop Head

ASFN Icon
Joined
Feb 4, 2005
Posts
12,878
Reaction score
6,566
Location
Tempe, AZ
Offering Ayton an extension this summer would be a mistake for a few reasons. He hasn't earned one, lowballing him could hurt things long term, and his market value is likely lower than he and his agent will seek. I'm all for hoping a contract will cause him to exert himself more. If it doesn't then try the sign and trade route after next season, if nothing materializes at the trade deadline.
 
Top