The Phoenix Suns appeared poised to make one other title run this season after arising simply brief towards the Milwaukee Bucks within the 2021 NBA Finals. And whereas they cruised by the common season, they struggled greater than anticipated within the first spherical towards the New Orleans Pelicans earlier than collapsing within the second spherical towards the Dallas Mavericks. Because of this, it could be clever to anticipate the Suns to look into making some adjustments to their roster this offseason.
The Suns don’t need to give Ayton a long-term contract
One nearly inevitable change is that Phoenix’s beginning heart, Deandre Ayton, can be moved sooner or later this offseason. Ayton didn’t play a lot in Phoenix’s deciding Sport 7 loss towards Dallas, with folks near the staff saying Ayton gave up on Phoenix after discovering out they didn’t need to supply him a max contract.
Ayton can be a restricted free agent as soon as free company opens up, and whereas the Suns may match any supply that comes their manner, it doesn’t really feel like that may occur. The truth is, in keeping with Adrian Wojnarowski, it looks like Phoenix is extra keen to drag off a sign-and-trade involving Ayton reasonably than handing him an extension.
“Ayton is a restricted free agent. Definitely, Phoenix may match a suggestion sheet. However I believe they’re very motivated to discover a sign-and-trade, get some belongings again for him. They don’t worth Deandre Ayton at a max contract.” – Adrian Wojnarowski, ESPN.
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Wojnarowski is likely one of the most well-connected of us in basketball, so chances are high he has good motive to imagine this can occur. There’s clearly some unhealthy blood between Ayton and the Suns group. And whereas they nonetheless have some management over him since he’s solely a restricted free agent, Phoenix believes now’s the best time to chop their losses with the primary general decide of the 2018 NBA Draft and transfer on.
Who would be capable to signal Ayton in a possible sign-and-trade deal?
Regardless of Phoenix’s willingness to eliminate Ayton, it needs to be famous that he’s nonetheless one of many higher facilities within the league. Regardless of his dimension, he’s a easy finisher on the rim, and his rebounding skill makes him a nightly double-double risk. Phoenix could not need to supply him the contract he needs, however there are definitely groups on the market that may.
To date, the frontrunner seems to be the Detroit Pistons. The Pistons just lately swung a commerce with the Portland Path Blazers that despatched star ahead Jerami Grant out the door in return for some draft belongings. That transfer has given Detroit the cap house wanted to exit and signal a man like Ayton.
Ayton remains to be 23 years previous, and he suits Detroit’s timeline significantly better than a man like Grant. They have already got stable younger items in Cade Cunningham and Saddiq Bey, so giving them one other excellent younger participant in Ayton would give the Pistons a core group they will construct their subsequent contender round.
Detroit has the cap house to tackle Ayton and his new deal, and so they have the assets to steer Phoenix into dealing him (not that it could take a lot, from the sounds of it). A few future draft picks would in all probability be all it takes to land Ayton contemplating the Suns are aggressively seeking to eliminate him. If that’s the case, this would appear like a no brainer for the Pistons.
It could not occur throughout the draft tonight, however Ayton’s time with the Suns is concluding. Whether or not he finally ends up going to the Pistons stays to be seen, but it surely seems they’re probably the most logical match, and there may be curiosity on their finish to get a deal executed. Ayton’s time in Phoenix definitely received’t have ended nicely if that is certainly the top, however a change of surroundings may assist the previous prime general decide take the following step ahead in his profession.