Updates on Deandre Ayton Trade Interest, Rumors and Possibilities

A second wave of information regarding Phoenix Suns center Deandre Ayton has arrived. 

Ayton heads into the summer as a restricted free agent, and while he’ll be able to garner offers from other teams, the Suns will still ultimately have the final say as to where he’ll be playing basketball in the coming years. 

While re-signing Ayton and keeping him for the future is not out of the question at all, an overwhelming amount of analysts and insiders believe Ayton will be wearing a new jersey next season. 

Thus, the circus of projecting trades, analyzing cap space scenarios and throwing darts at potential teams for Ayton to play for next season has already reached full throttle.

Bleacher Report’s Jake Fischer, who has provided solid insight into Ayton’s situation in Phoenix since the regular season, recently appeared on 98.7 FM’s Burns and Gambo and spent about ten minutes updating the Valley on the latest interest, rumors and possibilities on Ayton’s future with the Suns.

“Even if this gets cleared up, I think Deandre Ayton is going to continue to be a trade candidate, someone always discussed around the league as potentially getting moved until he ever does,” said Fischer before diving into details.

Level of Interesting Surrounding Deandre Ayton Across the NBA

“I think there’s definitely interest in him. I bumped into his representation in Chicago at the Combine and they’re pretty confident in their options. They didn’t really say too much, but you hear Toronto. You hear that Damian Lillard is interested in playing with him in Portland. I’ve heard San Antonio. Detroit has been mentioned as a team that’s got interest in him too, although I’m starting to get a little bit skeptical on if they’d be willing to give all their cap space to Deandre when I heard they want to find a guard and a big man.

“I haven’t actually looked at the numbers yet to see how it works out, but those are the four names that come up the most. The four teams that get mentioned as potential landing spots for him which all could be drawn up in sign-and-trade scenarios too. You could see Jerami Grant coming back in the Detroit situation. You could see Jusuf Nurkic coming back from Portland. Maybe Jakob Poeltl from San Antonio. So there’s a lot. 

“I don’t exactly know what Toronto is (willing to part with). The obvious response there, it’s not obvious OG (Anunoby)’s name has come up. I don’t know if that would be the case … Those are the kind of ideas that are starting to be talked about by people in and around the league.”

How Expendable is Deandre Ayton? How Does Toronto Value Centers?

“I think what really started to shift the thought of, ‘Deandre’s gonna actually be available this summer’ is because ever since they brought back Bismack Biyombo basically off the street, you started hearing a lot of executives say that Phoenix executives were pretty openly saying, ‘Man, Chris Paul is so good. If we can just get a replacement level rim-runner, we’ll be fine.’

“On the Toronto side of things, they do not apparently view that way … Their interest in a center is definitely very real.”

Could Any Rumored Trade Pieces Push the Suns Over the Top?

“They were right there, right? They were two games away from winning it. They were wire-to-wire the best team in the league this year … They’ve basically been the wire-to-wire best team in the league from the start of the 2020-21 season. So if there’s a little bit better of a fit chemistry wise. 

“I really think the whole thing with him (Ayton) sitting out the last 17 minutes, if that’s what it was, against Dallas in that Game 7 and the ‘it’s internal’ quote from Monty, I think that’s very emblematic of an icy relationship there. So maybe even addition by subtraction to a certain degree could help, and Jerami Grant … He is by all accounts just as good of a defensive linchpin as any big man you’ll find not as a seven-footer. 

“Maybe he could be the Draymond Green-esq type guy where he hits some threes and stretches it even more for Devin Booker and Chris Paul to get into the mid-range … Could that work? I could see it because they’re already so damn close.” 

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