Mark Bryant Rumors
Deandre Ayton was upset an extension didn’t get done coming off a trip to the Finals and the way he played in the playoffs. So far this season, I’ve been told that he’s happy because he loves winning. His goal is to play at an All-Star level and get back to the championship with the Suns, and the rest of it (his next contract) will play itself out. Kudos to Monty Williams and Mark Bryant, who’ve been able to get through to him to keep his mindset in a good place. He’s on the edge of being top-15 in player efficiency rating in the league right now.
Williams and assistant coach Mark Bryant had overlapped with the Oklahoma City Thunder; Williams hired Bryant away in part to work with Ayton. “When I first met him, I was like, ‘Man, this kid is a legit 7 [feet],'” Bryant said. “Because so many times people are like, ‘This guy is 7,’ and I get around him, and he’s really 6-10. Deandre is a legit 7. And when I saw him moving around, I said to myself, ‘Oh my god, this kid is gonna be alright if he keeps working it.'” (Ayton is officially listed at 6-foot-11.)
It was Bryant’s way of getting Ayton to visualize how it should look and feel as he drops back against the pick-and-roll defending two people at once — ball handler and roller. If that rolling big — Ayton’s man — gets beyond Ayton’s head, the Suns are at risk of allowing a lob dunk. But overreact to that threat, and you abandon the most dangerous player on the floor — the guy with the ball. Ayton had to find that in-between space, and learn how to hold it. If he could do that, his teammates on the perimeter could stick on outside shooters instead of darting inside to help him. He watched even more film of Gobert. “He plays big,” Ayton said. “I try to steal those tendencies. I try to be giant.”
The Phoenix Suns today announced Head Coach Monty Williams’ coaching staff, naming Willie Green, Darko Rajakovic, Mark Bryant, Randy Ayers, Larry Greer and Steve Blake as assistant coaches, and Riccardo Fois and Ben Strong as player development coaches.
Marc Stein: Multiple coaching staff changes appear to be looming in Oklahoma City as well with the Sacramento Kings, I’m told, in pursuit of Bob Beyer from Billy Donovan’s staff and, as we reported earlier today, new Suns coach Monty Williams seeking to bring Mark Bryant to Phoenix