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Monday, May 25, 2020

Suns open to playing Deandre Ayton at power forward

Deandre Ayton

Deandre Ayton could be returning to a role that he got acquainted with back in college.

In an interview this week with Lindsey Smith of “The Outlet,” Phoenix Suns general manager James Jones said that the team is open to playing the star big man at the power forward spot next season.

“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,” he said. “We have a lot of depth at that position.”

Ayton, last year’s No. 1 overall pick, played exclusively at center last season and only attempted four three-pointers the entire year, missing all four. But he played power forward at the University of Arizona next to fellow seven-footer Dusan Ristic, shooting 34.3 percent from three (12-for-35) and 73.3 percent from the line during his time there.

The 21-year-old also has the length, foot speed, and instincts to hold his own at the 4 defensively, and it may help Ayton avoid some bad matchups.

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