Deandre Ayton likes to set the bar high.
Now he has another lofty goal in mind.
“I’m trying to be Rookie of the Year and the first rookie [since Blake Griffin] to be an All-Star,” Ayton told Yahoo Sports this week. “Just putting that pressure on me so I can go hard everyday. I won’t necessarily say it’s pressure. I’ll just say it’s one of my goals or one of the achievements I hope to accomplish. It’s no pressure at all, it’s just, you’ve got to be in the gym, you’ve got to work, because if you don’t, it’s going to be exposed.”
The Phoenix Suns have not had an All-Star since 2011-12 and only 45 rookies have ever been selected to the All-Star game.
Yes, Griffin made the All-Star game as a rookie in 2010-11, but he wasn’t an ordinary rookie since it was actually his second year in the NBA (he missed his first year with a knee injury).
Ayton should have a major role with the Suns that will allow him to play heavy minutes and put up big numbers from day one, but it’s hard to envision him making the All-Star team as a rookie, given the amount of talent in the NBA right now. Plus, the Suns don’t have the type of fanbase that can vote him in.
However, winning Rookie of the Year is certainly feasible and Ayton is already viewed as the favorite by Vegas.