The Phoenix Suns headed into the 2018-19 NBA season with the goal of ending their eight-year playoff drought. Unfortunately, despite the addition of veterans and young players in the last offseason, the Suns remain as one of the worst NBA teams in the league. As of now, the Suns are on an eight-game losing streak, sitting in the No. 15 spot in the Western Conference with a 4-22 record.
As they continue to struggle, drama started to build around the Suns. After an embarrassing loss to the Portland Trail Blazers, Devin Booker has reportedly “exchange words” with DeAndre Ayton, whom the Suns selected as the No. 1 overall pick in the 2018 NBA Draft. The dispute between Booker and Ayton is a big concern for the Suns since they are the players expected to bring the team back to title contention.
On Monday night, before the Suns face the Los Angeles Clippers, DeAndre Ayton decided to break his silence on the issue between him and Devin Booker.
“That’s just two guys that want to win, to be honest,” Ayton said, via Duane Rankin of the Arizona Republic. “We just want to be winners. We are winners. It is what it is. It’s just us being competitors and wanting to win. That’s about it.”
"That’s just two guys that want to win, to be honest. We just want to be winners. We are winners. It is what it is.”#Suns rookie 7-footer Deandre Ayton in addressing locker room exchange with Devin Booker after last week's loss at Portland (w/video). https://t.co/WaeFUaFQdz pic.twitter.com/Fj9TyMNm42— Duane Rankin (@DuaneRankin) December 10, 2018
DeAndre Ayton didn’t give any further details if he and Devin Booker have already talked about the issue in private. After the verbal confrontation with Booker, Ayton admitted that he’s an “emotional guy” and said that he will not think twice before opening his mouth when he sees something wrong on the court. The 20-year-old center said that he and his teammates should continue improving their performance on both ends of the floor.
In 26 games he played this season, DeAndre Ayton is averaging 15.8 points, 10.1 rebounds, and 2.5 assists on 59.5 percent shooting from the field. After dealing with stomach issues, Ayton has now returned to the starting lineup in their game against the Clippers where he will be battling against 7-foot-3 big man Boban Marjanovic. In their previous matchup, Ayton only scored four points on 1-of-4 shooting from the field.
“He’s freakishly big,” Ayton said. “That’s my first time playing against someone that can just take the ball above my head and not jump. That’s an experience of a lifetime.”
Meanwhile, Devin Booker has been ruled out in their game against the Clippers due to a hamstring injury. Booker has already missed four games, and the Suns haven’t given a timetable of his return. However, Booker was already able to do some recovery work during their recent practice.