Deandre Ayton: Suns 'Definitely Heard That Noise' from Draymond on Devin BookerAugust 11, 2020
Phoenix Suns center Deandre Ayton says the team "definitely heard that noise" when the Golden State Warriors' Draymond Green said Suns guard Devin Booker should seek a way out of Phoenix.
Ayton discussed the situation during an appearance on Monday's edition of The Woj Pod with ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski (via Drew Shiller of NBC Sports Bay Area):
"We definitely heard that noise. It was promoted everywhere. It's just outside noise. Book is a dude who really maintains focus, and he just wants to win. He's a competitor at the highest peak there is in this league.
"It's contagious. Seeing how he plays out there every day -- it just spreads. Him and I being the head honchos leading, we always keep together, keep each other ahead, so any noise like that is nonexistent to me."
The NBA fined Green $50,000 for violating the league's anti-tampering rule with the comments.
Booker ranks ninth in the NBA at 26.5 points per game this season. He's also averaged 6.5 assists, 4.1 rebounds and 2.0 threes while shooting 48.8 percent from the field across 68 appearances, and he earned his first career All-Star Game appearance in February.
The 23-year-old University of Kentucky product didn't reference Green directly when asked about the remarks, but he told reporters he's motivated to provide Suns fans with a winning product:
"I feel like that's important for this organization, for the fans that have stuck by us for this long and still do so. Since I've been in Phoenix, we haven't had the win success that we had, but the support's been there. And this is what we owe to the fans, we owe to the organization. It's been a long time for us and I think this bubble opportunity was big for us, and we're taking advantage of it."
Booker and Ayton have helped lead the Suns to six straight wins in the NBA's bubble at the Disney World complex in Orlando, Florida. They are 10th in the Western Conference with a 32-39 record but just one game behind the eighth-place Memphis Grizzlies.
A single game separates the Grizzlies, Suns, Portland Trail Blazers and San Antonio Spurs from eighth through 11th place. The No. 8 and No. 9 seeds will face off in a play-in tournament for the final playoff berth.
Phoenix will play the Philadelphia 76ers on Tuesday and the Dallas Mavericks on Thursday to close out the coronavirus-shortened regular season.