Phoenix Suns center Deandre Ayton might have dominated all headlines this past offseason while he was a restricted free agent, but now the former No. 1 pick hopes to dominate on the court as he kept a business-like mindset during media day.
Ayton’s decision to sign a four-year, $133 million offer-sheet with the Indiana Pacers put the relationship between the Suns and Ayton in a peculiar place. However, the Suns matched the offer sheet and Ayton is ready to look forward to the future.
“Why look back,” Ayton said. “I don’t want to take any steps back, I just want to move forward.”
Ayton averaged an impressive 17.2 points and 10.2 rebounds last season but was criticized after he had a poor game seven performance in the second round of the playoffs where he put up only five points as the Suns were eliminated by the Dallas Mavericks.
Despite grueling contract negotiations this past summer, Ayton has no ill will towards the Suns organization.
“I’ve always had that professionalism where I never get too high or never get too low,” Ayton said. “At the end of the day it's business. I never take my personal feelings in this state. You have a team that you can trust that can handle all the other stuff while you work on your game to better yourself.”
After receiving his big contract, it's now up to Ayton to prove his doubters wrong and send a message to the Suns that he was worth every penny that he is being paid.
Ayton has been hard at work over the summer, perfecting his craft and is trying to be the best version of himself.
“I’ve been working on everything,” Ayton said. “I’m just trying to be the most dominant person right now and I feel like I can do that.”
Just like Ayton, the Suns as a whole are in dire need of a bounce back season after their underwhelming playoff performance.
Thankfully for the Suns, they are coming back with the primarily same team as they have had over the past two seasons and are looking to take their game too new heights.
“We are a lot older now,” Ayton said. “There are no more baby steps. We know the task at hand.”
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