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Who is the second most important piece of our core?

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Second most important player in our young core

Ayton
34
62%
Bridges
21
38%
 
Total votes: 55

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Who is the second most important piece of our core? 

Post#1 » by bigfoot » Fri Aug 21, 2020 9:20 pm

I think this picture is going to be cleared up in by the end of next season and certainly within two years. But ... I thought it would be worth looking at this a little harder.

Booker is definitely our #1 ... absolutely part of our long term core. I'm going to leave him out of the equation. Really its a question between Ayton and Bridges. Which one is the #2 guy long-term for this team? Ask yourself this question ... If I had to include one of them in a trade which one would I rather keep?
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Re: Who is the second most important piece of our core? 

Post#2 » by Saberestar » Fri Aug 21, 2020 10:35 pm

I think that is Mikal Bridges, but it is close.

Both are really important and we need them to be great to be in the playoffs next year and in the future.

Bridges is already a known commodity. He is the ultimate two-way player, an elite defender who helps a lot on offense with his cuts, IQ and 3p shooting.

Ayton has improved defensively this season but he needs to get better yet. He is a very good rebounder and finisher, but he is not active enough on some games. He lacks consistency.

If Ayton plays with more urgency in the future he will be our #2 for sure, he has the touch and the athleticism to be GREAT.

Ayton probably has more value around the league because he has bigger upside and is a bit younger than Bridges, but for now Mikal is a more sure thing and the fit next to Booker is absolutely perfect.
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Re: Who is the second most important piece of our core? 

Post#3 » by bwgood77 » Fri Aug 21, 2020 11:14 pm

In a twitter poll this was asked and Rubio won in a landslide....though that was talking about strictly this season I believe.

This is a tough question and I have always kind of hated terms like "#1 option" and having to pick the most important.

I think Ayton and Bridges are both very important. I would say if I had to pick one to keep and one to trade I'd definitely keep Bridges thinking Ayton would have more trade value, but honestly I'm not absolutely sure he would. I think Mikal has very very high upside. I'm talking like premier defenders/finishers/3 pt shooters in the league and he's a very good passer with a sky high bbiq.

Bridges is our best finisher at the rim at about 75%. Booker and Ayton are around 72%, Johnson 71%, Saric 67%. Oubre 59%, and Rubio 53%.

I think he will likely be a 40% 3 pt shooter or very close to it this year too. When he started out with that hitch, he shot like 21-22% through November. After that, he shot about 39% the rest of the season once he fixed his shot. He also shot 43.5% from 3 his last year in college.

Then of course his defense.

Ayton's development though, is probably of most key importance to the team's trajectory. If he can make big strides, that will move us further. He is also very important, and according to a pod I listened to today, we are already 4 points better per 100 possessions when he is on the floor, best of the team so that means he's pretty important. Though some of that probably had to do with how bad we were when Ayton and Baynes were out and we were starting Kaminsky at C.
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Re: Who is the second most important piece of our core? 

Post#4 » by itlnsunsfan » Fri Aug 21, 2020 11:39 pm

As much as I dislike him, I was going to say Ayton. However, I was surprised when I checked their on/off statistics. Mikal is statistically the more impactful player. I believe Ayton's ceiling is higher, but I doubt he'll reach it.

https://www.basketball-reference.com/players/a/aytonde01/on-off/2020

https://www.basketball-reference.com/players/b/bridgmi01/on-off/2020
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Re: Who is the second most important piece of our core? 

Post#5 » by bwgood77 » Fri Aug 21, 2020 11:56 pm

itlnsunsfan wrote:As much as I dislike him, I was going to say Ayton. However, I was surprised when I checked their on/off statistics. Mikal is statistically the more impactful player. I believe Ayton's ceiling is higher, but I doubt he'll reach it.

https://www.basketball-reference.com/players/a/aytonde01/on-off/2020

https://www.basketball-reference.com/players/b/bridgmi01/on-off/2020


Wow, I guess I'm not surprised, but am surprised it is even higher than Booker. And Rubio..though those three are all pretty close. I was surprised at Oubre's.
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Re: Who is the second most important piece of our core? 

Post#6 » by darealjuice » Sat Aug 22, 2020 12:24 am

It's Ayton because, to me, the ceiling for this team is most heavily dependent on how close Ayton gets to his ceiling. He's such a frustrating player because he averages 18/12/2/1.5 while looking half asleep, rarely boxing out, being late or non-existent on help defense too often, attacking the paint like a kitten, and falling in love with turnaround jump shots. The fact that he's this successful while being incredibly frustrating to watch is a testament to the player he should be once he grows up though.

Bridges might be my favorite player on the team and is more impactful now though, and I'm confident that he continues taking steps forward based on everything I've heard about his work ethic. He's a really good 3-and-D gadget guy right now, but if he's able to tighten up his handle and develop his shot creation/playmaking a bit he can be one of the best 2-way wings in the league.
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Re: Who is the second most important piece of our core? 

Post#7 » by bwgood77 » Sat Aug 22, 2020 12:41 am

darealjuice wrote:It's Ayton because, to me, the ceiling for this team is most heavily dependent on how close Ayton gets to his ceiling. He's such a frustrating player because he averages 18/12/2/1.5 while looking half asleep, rarely boxing out, being late or non-existent on help defense too often, attacking the paint like a kitten, and falling in love with turnaround jump shots. The fact that he's this successful while being incredibly frustrating to watch is a testament to the player he should be once he grows up though.

Bridges might be my favorite player on the team and is more impactful now though, and I'm confident that he continues taking steps forward based on everything I've heard about his work ethic. He's a really good 3-and-D gadget guy right now, but if he's able to tighten up his handle and develop his shot creation/playmaking a bit he can be one of the best 2-way wings in the league.


Yeah, I've mentioned Bridges potentially being a light version of a George/Kawhi type at some point, but as I was typing above, I thought of someone else who came in at a late age, who still really blossomed in year 3 and beyond, and decided to compare their second years (yes, I know he's shorter and not as long).

https://stathead.com/tiny/ezd52

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Re: Who is the second most important piece of our core? 

Post#8 » by phx#7 » Sat Aug 22, 2020 12:58 am

darealjuice wrote:It's Ayton because, to me, the ceiling for this team is most heavily dependent on how close Ayton gets to his ceiling. He's such a frustrating player because he averages 18/12/2/1.5 while looking half asleep, rarely boxing out, being late or non-existent on help defense too often, attacking the paint like a kitten, and falling in love with turnaround jump shots. The fact that he's this successful while being incredibly frustrating to watch is a testament to the player he should be once he grows up though.

Bridges might be my favorite player on the team and is more impactful now though, and I'm confident that he continues taking steps forward based on everything I've heard about his work ethic. He's a really good 3-and-D gadget guy right now, but if he's able to tighten up his handle and develop his shot creation/playmaking a bit he can be one of the best 2-way wings in the league.


This is pretty much exactly how I feel. I think Ayton is actually the most important piece of the team because of what you said. The way he develops and how close he gets to reaching his potential is directly related to whether or not the team can become a legit contender or just a competitive playoff team.

Booker is the best player
Ayton is the most important
Mikal is my favorite
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Re: Who is the second most important piece of our core? 

Post#9 » by bigfoot » Sat Aug 22, 2020 3:05 am

phx#7 wrote:
darealjuice wrote:It's Ayton because, to me, the ceiling for this team is most heavily dependent on how close Ayton gets to his ceiling. He's such a frustrating player because he averages 18/12/2/1.5 while looking half asleep, rarely boxing out, being late or non-existent on help defense too often, attacking the paint like a kitten, and falling in love with turnaround jump shots. The fact that he's this successful while being incredibly frustrating to watch is a testament to the player he should be once he grows up though.

Bridges might be my favorite player on the team and is more impactful now though, and I'm confident that he continues taking steps forward based on everything I've heard about his work ethic. He's a really good 3-and-D gadget guy right now, but if he's able to tighten up his handle and develop his shot creation/playmaking a bit he can be one of the best 2-way wings in the league.


This is pretty much exactly how I feel. I think Ayton is actually the most important piece of the team because of what you said. The way he develops and how close he gets to reaching his potential is directly related to whether or not the team can become a legit contender or just a competitive playoff team.

Booker is the best player
Ayton is the most important
Mikal is my favorite


I'm not sure I agree with Ayton making a difference to the long-term team ceiling. The last two champs, Toronto and Golden State rely on wing players to get it done. The growth of Bridges, Cam Johnson, or the addition of another legit wing scorer who can create their own offense is what I think will happen eventually. Obviously, Ayton could have a huge offensive epiphany next season but if it never happens I'm less worried that his ceiling defines the Suns ceiling. So long as we can get to the playoffs with him we can attract a star free agent or trade for one to raise the team ceiling.
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Re: Who is the second most important piece of our core? 

Post#10 » by Keith_myath » Sat Aug 22, 2020 3:19 am

We don't have the 'winning' talent to need a 2nd most important. Booker is obviously the scoring star, but there are 5 others who are pivotal to us winning in their own unique way.

Rubio - The ball handler and passer. There isn't a passer in the starting lineup and he gets everyone involved. It's no surprise that when he was playing injured, the Suns were in season-worst form.

Bridges - When Bridges scores, the Suns often win. He's a solid defender and one of the most potent cutter who can score off them. His improvement this season is boding well for the future.

Ayton - Provides a big who can score inside. If left alone he has a good enough game to cause the perimeter defenders to sag in to help defend. This can open up the 3pt shot. Improved vision and syncing with his teammates will amplify this. Also provides rebounds in a rather rebound-less squad.

Johnson - 3pt threat. Tall with a long reach, which can provide some defensive pressure when combined with Bridges. Has begun to improve his drive, so if he can implement a dish to go with the drive, it can increase the potency of Booker and Bridges on the perimeter, Ayton under the basket and anyone else who puts themselves in a scoring position.

Saric - Scoring and defense off the bench. Big weakness was consistent scoring off the bench. This meant that Booker would try and make up for what wasn't scored when he was off, so he'd take bad shots and the snowball effect would take place and we'd continue to look worse and worse. Consistently getting 10ppg off the bench while providing solid key-way defense means the opposition bench has to rely more of the 3pt shot to score.
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Re: Who is the second most important piece of our core? 

Post#11 » by Bogyo » Sun Aug 23, 2020 7:10 am

The fact that this is even a question is all you need to know why some people are frustrated with Ayton.
Other wise, darealjuice is spot on.
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Re: Who is the second most important piece of our core? 

Post#12 » by cberry78 » Sun Aug 23, 2020 9:18 am

Booker is definitely the #1 on this team. The best player and the most important.

Ayton is the second best player on the team, followed by Oubre or Bridges (depending on your outlook).

The second most important player on this team is a competent NBA PG. We've seen what Rubio has meant to this team all year and we just watched what Payne meant to the second unit during the bubble games. Without an NBA PG this team is staring 20-ish wins a year right in the face.
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Re: Who is the second most important piece of our core? 

Post#13 » by ImNotMcDiSwear » Sun Aug 23, 2020 6:15 pm

Finally decided to ring the bell for Bridges.

For me it came down to this. Every trade scenario we propose, if Ayton is included, I hesitate, for I worry that Ayton's ability to switch onto perimeter players might just be the key factor that allows us to compete for a championship. But if we're bringing back an A-list big, I'd consider it.

OTOH, any time I see Bridges' name included in a trade proposal, I balk. It kills it for me. I imagine that no matter what the rest of our roster looks like, if Bridges isn't on it, we'll struggle to defend the league's premier wing players, and the path to the WCF is bound to go through a series of such players. I would also hate, hate, hate for Bridges to end up defending Booker in a playoff series. Opposing Ayton, OTOH, wouldn't scare me unless someone finds a way to activate his amygdala.

.... Then again, with most of those trade proposals involving Ayton, if you substituted Bridges for Ayton, I might prefer it. I guess it comes down to perceived trade value with a lot of those proposals.

It's a tough question. I already doubt my selection. Wish I could un-make it and remain undecided, but the vote is cast. I hope Deandre proves me stupid next season!!
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Re: Who is the second most important piece of our core? 

Post#14 » by sunsbg » Sun Aug 23, 2020 7:37 pm

Obviously Ayton has the higher ceiling, one of a superstar, Mikal - a star. At this point doesn't look likely DA will reach it, but who knows. I would like to wait a season or two more before giving up on him becoming one.

Many downplay the importance of a big in today's league, but I still find it silly. Already pointed out in the playoffs thread that someone like Zubac is getting much of the credit for Clippers great D in addition to dominating KP inside on offense in their match-up. DA has already displayed ability to stay with someone like Luka on his drives and on the perimeter with smaller guards, which is very important aspect of his game. I think his passing is underrated as well.

On top of that, it's much harder to find quality bigs than quality wings. It's like there are at least 3 prospects being discussed in the draft thread for their 3-and-D potential.
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Re: Who is the second most important piece of our core? 

Post#15 » by cberry78 » Sun Aug 23, 2020 8:00 pm

ImNotMcDiSwear wrote:Finally decided to ring the bell for Bridges.

For me it came down to this. Every trade scenario we propose, if Ayton is included, I hesitate, for I worry that Ayton's ability to switch onto perimeter players might just be the key factor that allows us to compete for a championship. But if we're bringing back an A-list big, I'd consider it.

OTOH, any time I see Bridges' name included in a trade proposal, I balk. It kills it for me. I imagine that no matter what the rest of our roster looks like, if Bridges isn't on it, we'll struggle to defend the league's premier wing players, and the path to the WCF is bound to go through a series of such players. I would also hate, hate, hate for Bridges to end up defending Booker in a playoff series. Opposing Ayton, OTOH, wouldn't scare me unless someone finds a way to activate his amygdala.

.... Then again, with most of those trade proposals involving Ayton, if you substituted Bridges for Ayton, I might prefer it. I guess it comes down to perceived trade value with a lot of those proposals.

It's a tough question. I already doubt my selection. Wish I could un-make it and remain undecided, but the vote is cast. I hope Deandre proves me stupid next season!!

It is a very tough question, and I looked at it the exact opposite of you.

To me, having a defensive center manning the backline takes a lot of pressure off the rest of the team, and when that center is athletic enough to switch onto wings on the perimeter makes a world of difference. Even if that center is a "lazy" 20/12 player on the offensive end - his defensive potential (let alone the offensive potential) and versatility puts him head and shoulders above a wing defender.

Although, in a perfect world there would be no need to choose between either of them!! And I for one haven't seen any trades involving any of our players that would be worthwhile (.....maybe Giannis).
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Re: Who is the second most important piece of our core? 

Post#16 » by JDJ26 » Mon Aug 24, 2020 12:03 am

I like Bridges but its Ayton and its not close.

Ayton has the potential to be a two-way monster.

Is he immature? Yes, part of it is his personality and part of it is because he is young.

I think Monty will bring the best out of Ayton. Similar to AD.
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Re: Who is the second most important piece of our core? 

Post#17 » by lilfishi22 » Mon Aug 24, 2020 6:37 am

It has to be Ayton. How good we can be depends on how good he can be. As much as I love Bridges (tied favourite on this team), I don't think our upside is dependent on him. Overall, we'll only go as far as Booker and Ayton takes us. If Ayton continues to just be a 20/10 guy with OK D and alright offense, we won't go to far. If Ayton turns into an offensively versatile guy who gets to the line, is good for 24/12 with a couple of blocks and assists while being an anchor defensively, then we can go far.
alamin330 wrote:This draft reminds me of the 2003 draft.
Lebron - Zion, Barrett like Melo, wade like Culver, garland like tj ford, hunter like bosh, white like Barbosa, Clarke like David West. I think this draft is actually going to be deeper though
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Re: Who is the second most important piece of our core? 

Post#18 » by lilfishi22 » Mon Aug 24, 2020 6:46 am

bwgood77 wrote:
darealjuice wrote:It's Ayton because, to me, the ceiling for this team is most heavily dependent on how close Ayton gets to his ceiling. He's such a frustrating player because he averages 18/12/2/1.5 while looking half asleep, rarely boxing out, being late or non-existent on help defense too often, attacking the paint like a kitten, and falling in love with turnaround jump shots. The fact that he's this successful while being incredibly frustrating to watch is a testament to the player he should be once he grows up though.

Bridges might be my favorite player on the team and is more impactful now though, and I'm confident that he continues taking steps forward based on everything I've heard about his work ethic. He's a really good 3-and-D gadget guy right now, but if he's able to tighten up his handle and develop his shot creation/playmaking a bit he can be one of the best 2-way wings in the league.


Yeah, I've mentioned Bridges potentially being a light version of a George/Kawhi type at some point, but as I was typing above, I thought of someone else who came in at a late age, who still really blossomed in year 3 and beyond, and decided to compare their second years (yes, I know he's shorter and not as long).

https://stathead.com/tiny/ezd52

Image

I was a bit late to this thread when I was typing out my comment (without reading the rest of the posts) but Siakam was exactly the guy I was thinking about when thinking about Bridges' peak. Siakam has a bit of a weird offensive skillset in that he doesn't really have elite ball handling for his size like a Kawhi or PG nor is he super quick either but he protects the ball well, he makes good decisions offensively and he just does a lot with a length (long first step). IIRC, Siakam was similar to Bridges in his first few years in that he was largely an afterthought offensively and put up a few points on the board by being that hustle/cutter guy.
alamin330 wrote:This draft reminds me of the 2003 draft.
Lebron - Zion, Barrett like Melo, wade like Culver, garland like tj ford, hunter like bosh, white like Barbosa, Clarke like David West. I think this draft is actually going to be deeper though
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Re: Who is the second most important piece of our core? 

Post#19 » by Revived » Mon Aug 24, 2020 1:17 pm

bigfoot wrote:
phx#7 wrote:
darealjuice wrote:It's Ayton because, to me, the ceiling for this team is most heavily dependent on how close Ayton gets to his ceiling. He's such a frustrating player because he averages 18/12/2/1.5 while looking half asleep, rarely boxing out, being late or non-existent on help defense too often, attacking the paint like a kitten, and falling in love with turnaround jump shots. The fact that he's this successful while being incredibly frustrating to watch is a testament to the player he should be once he grows up though.

Bridges might be my favorite player on the team and is more impactful now though, and I'm confident that he continues taking steps forward based on everything I've heard about his work ethic. He's a really good 3-and-D gadget guy right now, but if he's able to tighten up his handle and develop his shot creation/playmaking a bit he can be one of the best 2-way wings in the league.


This is pretty much exactly how I feel. I think Ayton is actually the most important piece of the team because of what you said. The way he develops and how close he gets to reaching his potential is directly related to whether or not the team can become a legit contender or just a competitive playoff team.

Booker is the best player
Ayton is the most important
Mikal is my favorite


I'm not sure I agree with Ayton making a difference to the long-term team ceiling. The last two champs, Toronto and Golden State rely on wing players to get it done. The growth of Bridges, Cam Johnson, or the addition of another legit wing scorer who can create their own offense is what I think will happen eventually. Obviously, Ayton could have a huge offensive epiphany next season but if it never happens I'm less worried that his ceiling defines the Suns ceiling. So long as we can get to the playoffs with him we can attract a star free agent or trade for one to raise the team ceiling.

This. I don’t think people understand that big lofers are becoming obsolete in the NBA.

Joel Embiid just got send by a Boston Celtics team which has Daniel Theis and Enes Kanter as its best big men. The man that everyone refers to as the best center in the NBA, Nikola Jokic, is about to be send home in the first round. Jusuf Nurkic, another top 10 center, has been getting wrecked in the playoffs. Steven Adams looks clueless out there against a rotation which features 6’5 PJ Tucker as the best big man.

Rudy Gobert has been the only traditional C that’s having a good playoff run and even that is coming to an end next round because the Mavs or Clippers will take advantage of him with their wing players.

In terms of bigs, this league is now about guys like Siakam, Davis and Porzingis aka excellent rim protector with the ability to switch onto wings periodically and hit 3s. His teammate, and a personal favorite of mine Maxi Kleber does this as well (not as good a rim protector but still).

Brandon Clarke is about to be the next Porzingis. We need bigs of this caliber and Ayton’s not gonna be it.
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Re: Who is the second most important piece of our core? 

Post#20 » by bwgood77 » Mon Aug 24, 2020 4:42 pm

Revived wrote:
bigfoot wrote:
phx#7 wrote:
This is pretty much exactly how I feel. I think Ayton is actually the most important piece of the team because of what you said. The way he develops and how close he gets to reaching his potential is directly related to whether or not the team can become a legit contender or just a competitive playoff team.

Booker is the best player
Ayton is the most important
Mikal is my favorite


I'm not sure I agree with Ayton making a difference to the long-term team ceiling. The last two champs, Toronto and Golden State rely on wing players to get it done. The growth of Bridges, Cam Johnson, or the addition of another legit wing scorer who can create their own offense is what I think will happen eventually. Obviously, Ayton could have a huge offensive epiphany next season but if it never happens I'm less worried that his ceiling defines the Suns ceiling. So long as we can get to the playoffs with him we can attract a star free agent or trade for one to raise the team ceiling.

This. I don’t think people understand that big lofers are becoming obsolete in the NBA.

Joel Embiid just got send by a Boston Celtics team which has Daniel Theis and Enes Kanter as its best big men. The man that everyone refers to as the best center in the NBA, Nikola Jokic, is about to be send home in the first round. Jusuf Nurkic, another top 10 center, has been getting wrecked in the playoffs. Steven Adams looks clueless out there against a rotation which features 6’5 PJ Tucker as the best big man.

Rudy Gobert has been the only traditional C that’s having a good playoff run and even that is coming to an end next round because the Mavs or Clippers will take advantage of him with their wing players.

In terms of bigs, this league is now about guys like Siakam, Davis and Porzingis aka excellent rim protector with the ability to switch onto wings periodically and hit 3s. His teammate, and a personal favorite of mine Maxi Kleber does this as well (not as good a rim protector but still).

Brandon Clarke is about to be the next Porzingis. We need bigs of this caliber and Ayton’s not gonna be it.


Joel Embiid is playing with Shake Milton as his PG. We all know how much not having a PG matters. And Ben Simmons is among the best. It's weird everyone talking about Philly blowing up their team or trading Simmons when they got knocked out because he was INJURED. Last year they were a crazy Kawhi shot from knocking out the eventual champs in 7.

Embiid is their best player. They messed up with their roster a bit but that doesn't mean it's Embiid's fault. If Simmons was playing that series would have been a lot better.

If Boston was missing Tatum and Philly had Simmons and Philly swept, I don't know if people would be saying Boston should blow it up.

Jokic is playing one of the other best centers in the NBA who is on fire, Gobert...the best defensive anchor....who has been really efficient.

Now, Gobert has been deemed useless in the playoffs before against a small ball team like Houston, so we will see. I think Ayton would not be deemed as useless in such a scenario because he can switch.

This whole question about most important is tough, because if Ayton has a really good game, and everyone else just plays normal, we have A LOT better chance of winning. But Bridges and is defense and high IQ is there every night, and if we didn't have that to count on, I don't know where we'd be either since our defense wouldn't be terribly strong otherwise.

Bridges has our best on/off. Before he started with Oubre, we didn't look that good, while Oubre was starting with Saric...and then when Bridges was starting with Cam, the killer lineup continued. Ayton had always been in this lineup.

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