NBA Legend Shines Light on Deandre Ayton

October 09, 2023

Athlete Studio

Deandre Ayton's recent trade to the Portland Trail Blazers as part of the historic deal that sent Damian Lillard to the Milwaukee Bucks has sparked excitement among basketball fans. As Ayton embarks on a new journey with the Blazers, he is confident in his ability to become as dominant as Shaquille O'Neal, one of the greatest forces in the league's history.

Shaquille O'Neal, a massive fan of the young center, has been a vocal advocate for Ayton, even pushing for him to receive a bigger contract. Last year, Ayton secured a $133,000,000 contract with the Phoenix Suns for four years before his subsequent trade.

Showing his support on Instagram, Shaq shared Ayton's quote comparing himself to the legendary big man. This endorsement from Diesel himself suggests that he has faith in Ayton's potential to dominate in the current era of the league.

Both Shaquille O'Neal and Deandre Ayton share many similarities, including their towering 7-foot figures. Upon joining the Portland Trail Blazers, Ayton boldly expressed his aspiration to become the most dominant player in the league. He stated, "I truly believe I can be just as dominant as prime Shaq on this team [Portland Trail Blazers]."

While Ayton's statistics over the past five seasons with the Phoenix Suns may not match up to Shaq's first five seasons, the Big Diesel firmly believes that the Bahamian star is on the right path to achieve a dominant status. With his confidence in Ayton's abilities, Shaq shared Ayton's confident claim on his Instagram story.

Over his career, Ayton has averaged 16.7 points, 1.0 blocks, 10.4 rebounds, and 1.6 assists per game. In the 2022-23 season alone, Ayton recorded an average of 18 points, 10 rebounds, and a remarkable 61.7% shooting percentage.

Although Ayton's numbers may not yet match Shaq's, the potential for him to reach that level is evident. At just 25 years old, Ayton has plenty of time to continue developing and improving his game. Shaq's confidence in the young and emerging Blazers center speaks volumes.

Deandre Ayton's skills align perfectly with the Portland Trail Blazers' defensive strategy. With his mobility and perimeter defense, Ayton complements the team's new defensive setup. Additionally, he can contribute to the Blazers' pick-and-roll offense alongside Robert Williams, known for his shot-blocking capabilities.

Ayton's arrival in Portland has brought him immense joy after spending nearly five years in Phoenix. As he explores the Blazers' training facilities and locker room, he feels rejuvenated, as if he has been freshly drafted into the league.

If Ayton lives up to his claims of dominance this season, it is clear that the Portland Trail Blazers have made a significant acquisition. With his consistency and confidence, Ayton has the potential to become a dominant force in the NBA, and landing him on their team is a major win for Portland.

Subscribe to my newsletter

Subscribe for the latest highlights and content