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Frank Vogel believes Deandre Ayton can be one of the best centers in NBA

Deandre Ayton Frank Vogel
(Photo by Barry Gossage/NBAE via Getty Images)

Frank Vogel believes Deandre Ayton can be one of the best centers in NBA

After being recently hired by the Phoenix Suns, head coach Frank Vogel has already given his center DeAndre Ayton some high praise, saying he believes Ayton can be one of the best centers in the NBA.

(All quotes via theScore.)

“I think he can be one of the best centers in the league,” Vogel said at his introductory press conference on Tuesday, per NBA TV. “I think he’s shown that at times throughout his career.

“I’m intent on really connecting with him and restoring him to an All-Star-level player.”

This comment comes in shocking fashion, as it seems that Phoenix wants to trade Ayton while he still has some sort of value.

The former Arizona University big man has been struggling in Phoenix for the past few seasons, especially in the playoffs. In the Suns’ last series against the Denver Nuggets, Ayton became a non-it factor for them, averaging only 10.8 points, 8.2 rebounds and 1.2 assists on 57.8 percent shooting in five games. Not to mention, Ayton had eight turnovers, which reduced amount of minutes. Is it the high expectations getting to Ayton? Or is it just that he doesn’t care at this point?

The Suns matched a four-year, $132 million deal last offseason from the Indiana Pacers that Ayton originally signed since he was a restricted free agent.

In lieu of the Suns matching the Pacers’ deal on July 14, 2023, the Pacers cannot hypothetically trade for him until July 14, 2023, while Ayton also owns a one-year no-trade clause that can allow him to block any trade. He will be making $32.5 million in 2023-24.

With Chris Paul gone, it opens up more cap space for the Suns to make another move to bolster their roster. But what are the Suns going to do with Ayton now, with trade rumors looming, the big man’s future in Phoenix isn’t set in stone.

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