Phoenix’s Opportunity to Create the Next Shaq and Kobe

By Thomas Jeffrey

It is official. The Phoenix Suns won the NBA Draft Lottery, and will have the first pick of the night on June 21 at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn. After going an abysmal 21-61, Phoenix has to get this right. The days of Steve Nash are long gone, and the franchise desperately needs to be revamped. The right pick will do just that, and despite the talent in this year’s draft, it is pretty clear who Phoenix needs to take. If Phoenix does indeed make this right pick, they will create a dominant duo reminiscent of Shaq and Kobe.

Deandre Ayton is the player that the Suns need. The center from Arizona is athletic, versatile, and skilled. He is the type of player that can immediately elevate a team’s talent. Just imagine him combined with Phoenix’s young star Devin Booker. It is uncanny how similar they would be to Shaq and Kobe. First, Booker is arguably the player in the NBA that is most similar to Kobe. Booker’s scoring ability, polished footwork, sharpshooting, and surprising athleticism is almost identical to that of the Black Mamba. Booker has also had a historic scoring performance with 70 points, similar to that of Kobe’s 81-point night. Next, Deandre Ayton is just like Shaq was in his prime. The only difference is that Ayton can shoot. At Arizona Ayton shot 62% from the field, 34% from three, and he averaged 20 points per game. Those numbers are almost identical to Shaq’s college statistics, except for the three point percentage of course.

Take a second and just imagine the combination of Devin Booker and Deandre Ayton. Scary isn’t it? The Suns will be so hard to defend with Booker on the outside and Ayton on the inside, just like the Lakers were with Shaq and Kobe. Both are always a threat to score, just like Shaq and Kobe were. If Phoenix gets it right and picks Ayton, the rest of the league better take notice. Because the replication of Shaq and Kobe is year.


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