The Phoenix Suns missed the playoffs this season, but are apparently already making plans to make sure that isn’t the case next season by ramping up their overseas — and South of the border — scouting.
Most notably, the Suns have reportedly shown interest in Gustavo Ayon, a 6-foot-9 power forward from Veracruz, Mexico, that is currently playing in Spain.
“There are confirmed offers,” Ayon told Mexico’s El Diario. “The most interested at this point, who have formalized everything, are San Antonio and the Phoenix Suns. Those are the two teams who have shown a bit more interest and we hope to do well and make everything right in order to be at camp.”
Ayon, a 26-year-old Mexican National Team member, is averaging 10.7 points, 6.1 rebounds, 1.6 steals and 1.4 blocks this season while playing for Fuenlabrada in Spain’s ACB — largely recognized as one of the best basketball league’s outside of the NBA.
Though the Suns and Spurs are the only two teams Ayon mentioned in the interview, Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak was in attendance watching as Ayon scored a season-high 24 points to go along with eight rebounds on March 6 again Regal Barca.
In that game, Ayon was matched up against a host of former NBA big men including Boniface Ndong, Terence Morris and Kosta Perovic as well as Fran Vasquez, the Orlando Magic’s 11th overall pick in the 2005 NBA Draft.
If the Suns like what they see during the to be determined tryout, Ayon may have to buy out of a three-year deal that he signed with his Spanish team in 2009.
“I have a contract in force here, but in such case (of possibilities in NBA), that will be discussed at the end of the season,” Ayon said.
If he’s able to do as well in the NBA as he’s done in Spain, Ayon might just be the type of gamble that’s worth taking a chance on — judging by these highlights — especially if the Spurs are interested as well.