Deandre Ayton shooting 3s; Devin Booker on player movement, ASG nods
PHOENIX — Everyone knows it’s coming.
Phoenix Suns No. 1 overall pick Deandre Ayton will shoot 3-pointers at some point in his career but he has not crossed that bridge. Yet.
After a team practice and shootaround concludes, media members file in to prepare speaking with players and coaches. At this time, players will either exit or get extra work in. Just about everyone will get that extra work in, which is a lot of shooting.
That work didn’t include 3-pointers for Ayton earlier in the season but he would jokingly take one or two for fun because shooting 3-pointers is fun.
Now, though, Ayton has begun actually working on the shot during this time.
That includes going through the “process” head coach Igor Kokoskov has noted Ayton will have to endure to start shooting the shot.
In the video below, Ayton is working with head of player development Cody Toppert on tweaks to his form as he pushes the range further out on his shot.
“It’s a process,” Kokoskov said after shootaround on Saturday. “Nothing happens overnight. At some point, he’s gonna start shooting. That’s modern basketball, three-point line, the power of the three-point line — we all know how important it is for modern basketball.
“But the thing is, for him to start shooting he can’t just say ‘OK, today is Monday, today is Tuesday — I’m going to start shooting.’ It’s a process, it requires time.”
Ayton attempted 35 of the shots at Arizona his freshman year, converting on 34.3 percent of them. He has only attempted two this season and both have been in end-of-clock scenarios where he had to.
The Suns’ mentality has always been that Ayton should control the game on the interior first and then add that part to his game.
Kokoskov reiterated that point.
“How long is it going to take? We’ll see,” he said. “But right now I want him to dominate the game in different areas but if he’s open for a three-point look I have nothing against [it.]
“[A] big guy with such a soft touch — sooner or later he’s gonna be there.”
Ayton is expected to return for the Suns on Saturday night after a six-game absence.
BOOKER ON THE MADNESS
The NBA has been in a state of madness the past week.
Trade requests are flying left and right. Kristaps Porzingis went from the present and future of the New York Knicks to a member of the Dallas Mavericks in less than 24 hours. Kyrie Irving went from a long-term commitment to Boston to we’ll see what happens on July 1. Anthony Davis seems more destined by the minute to don a Los Angeles Lakers jersey.
Suns shooting guard Devin Booker was asked about his thoughts on what he described like a “reality TV show.”
“I think it’s to the point now where the players are figuring out you have more power than you thought you had back in the day,” he said. “They’re controlling their future, they’re determining their future. They’re going with their plan and they’re rolling with that.
“For us as players, I feel like it’s totally fine as a player to determine what his future is going to be. I’ve talked to guys around the NBA all the time. It’s their future — it’s nobody else’s life and whatever you want to do with that moving forward is up to you.
“Obviously, everyone has their different plans in mind and what they want to be remembered as but for a player to do something that he wants to do I totally respect it.”
BOOKER ON ALL-STAR NODS
Despite the ability for everyone to count on one hand how many guys in the NBA average Booker’s stat line this year, he did not make the All-Star team.
Booker knows that the problem is.
“The wins, I’d say the wins only,” he said. “From a statistical standpoint, I’d think I’m fine. I think pretty much a lot of people know from the defenses and how they guard me but the wins will come. I’m focused on that. That’s my main goal. The rest will take care of itself after that.”