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#pounditWednesday, June 29, 2022

List of potential suitors for Deandre Ayton emerges

Deandre Ayton looks ahead

Jan 3, 2020; Phoenix, Arizona, USA; Phoenix Suns center Deandre Ayton (22) against the New York Knicks at Talking Stick Resort Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

A major move could be on the horizon for the Phoenix Suns after their spontaneous combustion this postseason. If that move ends up being a breakup with Deandre Ayton, several notable teams may be lying in wait.

Bleacher Report’s Jake Fischer reported this week that there are three NBA teams that have been most widely linked to a possible Ayton signing. They are the Atlanta Hawks, Detroit Pistons, and Portland Trail Blazers. Fischer adds that the center-needy Charlotte Hornets and the cap space-rich San Antonio Spurs have also been mentioned by multiple team executives as potential landing spots for Ayton.

The former No. 1 overall pick Ayton averaged 17.2 points and 10.2 rebounds per game this season for the Suns. He is set to become a restricted free agent in the summer and previously had drama with Phoenix last offseason when they apparently refused to give him the max extension he was seeking.

Ayton might not have much of a chance to compete for a title with any of the above-mentioned teams. But what he will have is a better shot at max-level money and a featured role on offense. With questions also now arising over Ayton’s relationship with Suns coach Monty Williams, the tea leaves may be pointing to Ayton packing his bags and leaving Phoenix.

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