Deandre Ayton has been subject to much criticism over his role in Phoenix but his stint with the Bahamas national team alongside future teammate Eric Gordon, shows he’s ready to turn a new leaf.
In the Bahamian team’s 109-68 win over Cuba in an Olympic pre-qualifying tournament, Ayton recorded 22 points and ten rebounds on 10-14 shooting and was full of positive energy after the game.
“It felt amazing,” Ayton said. “It felt fun. Truly emotional feeling, just having so many Bahamian guys, so many great players just following the same goals, chasing the same goals and understanding the opportunity that we have at task, playing in Argentina, knowing that this is the big deal.”
Ayton has teamed up with new Suns guard Eric Gordon, who signed a two-year deal with the franchise during free agency and made the switch from the USA Team to the Bahamas team.
In the game against Cuba, Gordon finished the night with 17 points, four rebounds and two assists on 6-10 shooting from the field and 2-3 from three.
Ayton spoke about playing with Gordon and how much of a benefit it has been before they team up on a stacked Suns team that includes the likes of Devin Booker, Kevin Durant, Bradley Beal and Yuta Watanabe.
“Definitely lit,” Ayton said.“It’s definitely something that you never thought would happen. He’s such a great player as well. Just having the feel of his game before we both hit training camp and start fighting each other to figure out some type of chemistry, I’m glad we figured that out early. And just trying to make some history now to make the Olympics is truly something special.”
In Gordon’s postgame, he had nothing but praise for Ayton and said, “He’s going to be a threat” for the Suns in their upcoming NBA campaign.