Ayton understands Doncic hype: 'He's a beast'
Barry Gossage / National Basketball Association / Getty

Deandre Ayton has managed to average a double-double and put up some eye-popping stat lines through the first 42 games of his career since being drafted No. 1 overall by the Phoenix Suns last June.

However, despite his impressive play, the 7-footer hasn't been the most talked about rookie this campaign, as that title goes to Dallas Mavericks freshman Luka Doncic. Ayton admits it's difficult not to appreciate how impressive the Slovenian has been thus far.

"I watch his games all the time. He's a beast," Ayton said, according to The Undefeated's Marc J. Spears. "I'm like, 'Aw, what the heck, there is no way Doncic is a rookie.' That is what I say sometimes when I watch him play. He's been there (professionally). He's been in situations like this."

Ayton is proving to be a force in his rookie year - averaging 16.7 points and 10.7 rebounds while shooting 60.7 percent from the field - but is sometimes overlooked because his team is firmly stationed in the Western Conference basement. He said he's used to not receiving the recognition he may deserve.

"I've always been under the radar," said Ayton. "Everybody knows what type of player I am. They just don't want to give me the credit, I guess. I had to work very hard to deserve everything I have now. I don't see what the issue is. I just got to keep working."

Ayton's Suns beat Doncic and Co. in both meetings this season, and the two teams will square off once again on Wednesday night in Dallas.

Ayton understands Doncic hype: 'He's a beast'
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