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After a strong start to the new NBA season, the Phoenix Suns have a modest record of 8-8. They’ve been playing without second-year center Deandre Ayton, who has been serving a 25-game suspension for testing positive on a drug test.
Arizona Spots has an update: “General manager James Jones joined 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station’s Burns & Gambo Tuesday and provided some clarity as to Ayton’s situation 15 games into his suspension. “We’ve been focused on a transition for him since the initial suspension,” he said. “So every day, there’s a plan to keep his conditioning level up, his skill level up. And as we get closer to the games, coach will start to reintegrate him in our pregame routine, our practice routine, our practice plan, so it’ll work itself out.””
It’ll be interesting to see how the Suns rotation changes when Ayton returns. Center Aron Baynes, who in his NBA career has been a supporting cast role player more than a star, has played quite well in Ayton’s absence. But Ayton is considered a long-term building block. A potential franchise foundation. It will be an interesting minutes distribution test for head coach Monty Williams.