Deandre Ayton sets his sights on becoming an All-Star in his rookie season

2018 NBA Summer League - Las Vegas - Dallas Mavericks v Phoenix Suns

In the opening week of the NBA Summer League, all eyes have inevitably been on the number one overall pick Deandre Ayton and the early signs have been promising. 

The big man was taken first by the Phoenix Suns and they have high hopes that he can develop into one of the best anchors in the league. 

After a relatively quiet debut, Ayton has come to life in the competition and has averaged a double-double of 16.0 points and 11.0 rebounds over his three games. 

He produced a particularly dominant performance in his matchup against fellow lottery pick Mo Bamba when the Suns took on the Orlando Magic earlier this week. 

The 19-year-old finished with 17 points and 13 rebounds and got the better of the number five pick. 

Solid choice

In just a couple of games, we've seen why he was the top selection in the draft. 

But going number one comes with added pressure and it'll be no different for the center as he prepares to prove Phoenix right for choosing him. 

Ayton, however, is not fazed by any pressure and has big goals he wants to accomplish in just his first season in the league. 

“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.

“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 Arizona product is a physical specimen like Joel Embiid and can mix it in the post with anybody. 

He also possesses nimble footwork and a soft touch with his jump shots in a similar way to the last two bigs that were taken with the number one overall pick, Anthony Davis and Karl-Anthony Towns. 

Fans in Phoenix are desperate to see the man from the Bahamas have an instant impact to help them get back to winning. 

The franchise hasn't been relevant since the days of Steve Nash but the youngster is ready to turn their fortunes around. 

2018 NBA Summer League - Las Vegas - Orlando Magic v Phoenix Suns

“We got to win. That’s the biggest goal for us right now,” Ayton said. “We have the talent, we’re young, we can run. Our vets can help us.

"I can’t wait to see Tyson Chandler to really tell me the ropes on how to defend the post and how to talk to refs certain ways, even if you’re mad or fatigued. I just want him to teach me that.”

With Devin Booker committing his future to the Suns by signing a new five-year deal, there's a talented young core now in place and exciting times ahead for them. 

CLICK HERE to listen to Episode Two of the new GiveMeSport NBA podcast, featuring New York Times senior writer Marc Stein. Subscribe for all future episodes.

News Now - Sport News