DeAndre Ayton Scouting Report

DeAndre Ayton – C

Scouting report for DeAndre Ayton.

Strength and weakness videos at bottom.

Measurements (against C): From 2016 Nike Hoop Summit

Height (in sneakers) Weight Standing Reach Wingspan
6’11.75 260 9’3 7’5.5
+0 -6 +.75 +1.5

Athleticism & Frame:

  • Excellent athlete
    • Explosive vertically and moves feet well laterally, but he does look a bit slow at times.
  • Excellent frame
    • Incredibly strong and defined, despite reportedly not lifting weights before arriving at Arizona.
    • Looks like he can actually get a bit stronger without losing athleticism.
  • Motor comes and goes. Would like to see him be more consistent.
  • Does use his strength as well as he could – less “functional strength” than you would guess just by looking at him.


  • High level offensive player, with defensive question marks
    • Great finisher in paint
    • Elite PnR threat
    • Versatile offensively – can beat defense in post, facing up out of post, or taking jumpers
    • Played “softer” than his strength allowed
    • Excellent passer out of post, but tunnel vision on drives. Only 2.9% of isolation sets ended in passes
  • Great rebounder who uses his size, strength, and athleticism to grab rebounds
  • Great finisher in paint
  • Questionable defensive awareness (got better later in the year, only to falter against Buffalo).
    • Has the measurements and athletic ability of an elite defender, but is not a good off ball/help defender.
    • Not the best in single coverage either, mainly due to poor footwork.


17-18 20.1 11.6 1.6 61.2 73.3 1.9/.6 65.0 130.3/98.8
17-18 .259 6.8 4

Offense: 98th percentile overall 


Past Season Synergy stats (Percentile ranking)

Catch & Shoot (guarded/unguarded) Post up Cut Isolation Transition PnR Around Basket
35 (24/47) 90 85 75 93 36 96

Versatile offensive player who can beat the defense in a variety of ways

  • Catch & Shoot
    • Even though only 35th percentile overall, he is a good spot up shooter for bigs. He shot 36% from “short midrange” and 51% from “long midrange.”
    • Way more comfortable when shooting in space vs when defender is closing out quickly
  • Post up
    • Elite post up player
    • Variety of moves and mixes it up in the post with them
      • Face up jumper, drop steps, baby hooks, and going over either shoulder
      • Unbelievable footwork in post and keeps his balance really well.
      • Does not use his strength as well as he can. You can see some flashes of him just overpowering guys, but the majority of his moves are finesse based – he has the KG face and spin down.
    • Handles pressure well in post
      • 89th percentile on defensive commits and 95th on double teams.
  • Cutting
    • Great cutter
    • Moves well off ball and dives well when ball handler is driving
    • Loves moving in from dunker’s spot
    • Catches and powers through the contact / for the dunk
  • Isolation
    • Was not used in isolation often (5.6%), but showed some promise here scoring the ball
    • More comfortable taking jumper in isolation (70% of time) vs driving (30%)
      • Has a quick first step facing up, but does not use it often.
      • Likes the baseline drive and walks the baseline well.
    • Does not see floor well in isolation…once he puts ball on court, he has tunnel vision.
  • Transition
    • Gazelle in transition and really gets up and down court, when he wants to.
      • Motor issues. He’s often the last player back on the break / secondary break…which shouldn’t happen. If he fully sprints, or at least runs hard, he’d get more looks in transition and on the secondary break – especially if he’s able to seal his man on a rim run.
    • Great finisher on the break, but not someone who can grab and go
  • PnR
    • Has major PnR potential, but was not used much in this capacity at Arizona (13.6%)
    • Part of the reason why he was not as successful as he should have been in the PnR was because of the lack of spacing playing the 4 next to another non-spacing big.
      • There was not much room to dive…which should change in the NBA with more space
    • Does not set good screens. Very lackadaisical on and off ball screens.
      • He should be using his size to set hard screens. It would free up the drive in the PnR and free up the jumper for him, as the guy defending him would have to commit to the drive. Worst case, it starts the swing – ball handler to Ayton to spot up.
  • Around Basket (non-postups)
    • Excellent finisher around basket (96th percentile)
    • Can finish through contact.
      • 24 and 1s this year feels a bit low compared to maybe what he should have done, but it is higher than Bagley’s number, Karl Anthony Towns’ number, and other recent top picks.
    • Great hands catching, but can get rushed.
    • Lower foul rate than expected
    • Brings the ball down a little too much
    • Needs to work on left hand.

Passing and Handle:

Year Assists Turnover Assist% Turnover% USG%
17-18 1.6 2 10.2 11.3 26.6


    • Excellent passer out of post (89th percentile)
      • Can hit the cutters and spot up shooters
      • Has almost a second sense in hitting spot up shooters, including cross court, and cutters
      • Also senses when and where the help is coming from. He broke through to pass on numerous double and triple teams this year.
    • Does not see court well on move / in isolation
    • Swing passer
  • Handle
    • Average handle – does not use it much in his game
    • Not a grab and go guy in starting the fast break.
    • Keeps handle on the ball during spin moves in post
    • Can face up to drive right, not so much left.

Defense and Rebounding: 60th percentile overall on defense

Spot Up PnR Ball Handler PnR Roll Man Off Screen Isolation Post up
86 21 47 43 71 34
STL% BLK% TRB (oRB/dRB) TRB% (oRB%/dRB%)
1 6.1 11.6 (3.4/8.2) 21.4 (13.5/28.2)

Around basket – 79th percentile overall

    • Misses rotations, falls for fakes too often, and just does not attempt to contest some shots
    • He has the athleticism to be at least a great shot blocker in the NBA, and we might be able to see it because he will not be playing the 4 in the NBA as he was for Arizona.
  • Poor awareness overall
    • Misses rotations, loses his man off ball, etc.
      • Would ignore his man while he ball watched – his man would float to perimeter or cut.
        • Another issue is him staying too far close to his man and not playing proper help defense à he’d stay on the weak side.
      • Does not see man and ball well.
      • Would stay too far on the weak side and ignore strong side action – did not split the floor well.
    • Did show improvement later in the season off ball, but was exposed on defense overall against Buffalo in the NCAA tournament
    • Digs when he’s leaving his man on the perimeter for open threes. He needs to fix this bad habit, because floor spacers do an enormous amount of damage in the NBA.
  • PnR
    • Major issues on PnR defense
    • Arizona had him hedging and recovering, which he should be able to do with his athleticism. However, he was exposed time and time again using this scheme.
    • Poor motor had him doing a terrible job recovering to the shooter
      • Often he wouldn’t even recover to the shooter and instead give up an open jumper
    • When he did recover, he used poor footwork and angles closing out.
      • Guys would drive by him with ease. He did a poor job cutting off baseline AND cutting off middle.
  • Off Screen
    • Gives up too much room and does not do a good job keeping up with smaller players running around the screen.
    • He’s a 5 so this is not a big issue, as he will likely not be defending 5s running off screens.
  • Spot Up (off ball)
    • The 86th percentile is actually a bit too kind to him.
    • He would give up open drives off catches.
      • Poor footwork had him opening up and giving lanes to the basket, baseline, or middle.
    • Closeouts need work. He would either ignore them when he was too far away, or have a poor closeout. It might be because he was playing against 4s instead of 5s this whole year, but it is still something he can fix easily.
  • Isolation
    • Hit or miss, really. Some plays he does a really good job staying in front of the perimeter player, but other times he opens up giving the lane (just like in spot up).
    • Should be an above average isolation defender in the NBA with some seasoning.

Strength video, in collaboration with Frankie Vision. 

Weaknesses video, in collaboration with Frankie Vision. 


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