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#pounditTuesday, July 5, 2022

Articles tagged: Deandre Ayton

Report: Jazz interested in notable center after Rudy Gobert trade

Donovan Mitchell looks on

Jan 16, 2022; Denver, Colorado, USA; Utah Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell (45) during the second half against the Denver Nuggets at Ball Arena. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

The Utah Jazz traded center Rudy Gobert to the Minnesota Timberwolves on Friday, but that does not mean the organization is putting aside the notion of contending next season.

According to John Gambadoro of Arizona Sports 98.7, the Jazz have shown interest in Phoenix Suns center Deandre Ayton. Ayton, a restricted free agent, would have to agree to a sign-and-trade to Utah in order to facilitate a deal.

The Jazz certainly have an opening at center after shipping Gobert out for a massive haul. The team appears set to build around Donovan Mitchell, and perhaps feels that Ayton would be a good fit next to their franchise player.

The big question is whether Ayton’s interest is mutual. Both he and the Suns appear ready to move on, but the Suns would have to cooperate if he wanted to go to Utah.

Report reveals Suns’ Deandre Ayton contract stance

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

Deandre Ayton is set to become a restricted free agent this offseason, and the Phoenix Suns appear to view him differently than some other teams around the league.

ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski said on “SportsCenter” Wednesday that the chances of Ayton leaving the Suns are “increasingly likely” as the organization simply does not view him as worthy of a max contract.

“Phoenix has simply decided they don’t value Deandre Ayton on a max contract,” Wojnarowski said, via Tim Daniels of Bleacher Report. “The good news for Deandre Ayton is a number of teams around the league do, and I think as a restricted free agent most teams are expecting right now as they jockey to get involved with Deandre Ayton is a sign-and-trade scenario.”

The Suns have been souring on Ayton for a while, and tensions appeared to boil over during Phoenix’s playoff exit. Plenty of teams may be interested, but there is no clear favorite after one team heavily linked to the center apparently backed away recently.

The 23-year-old Ayton was the top pick in the 2018 draft. He averaged 17.2 points and 10.2 rebounds per game in 58 games last season.

Report: Deandre Ayton pursuit growing unlikely for 1 interested team

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

Deandre Ayton’s future may still lie away from the Phoenix Suns, but one team heavily linked to him may be changing course.

The Detroit Pistons are increasingly unlikely to pursue Ayton as a restricted free agent, according to James L. Edwards III of The Athletic. The Pistons have less of a need for Ayton after their draft night action that saw them land guard Jaden Ivey and center Jalen Duren, and would prefer to use their remaining cap space on multiple veterans to surround the team’s new young core.

If the Pistons are out on Ayton, it becomes less clear where he might end up. One other team had been linked to the Phoenix center, but the Pistons seemed to be the organization that wanted him most.

Ayton is set to become a restricted free agent, and he and the Suns certainly seem headed for a divorce one way or another. Right now, it’s simply unclear how that could happen.

Deandre Ayton hoping to team up with 1 specific player?

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

Deandre Ayton will soon become a restricted free agent, and many expect the former first overall pick to leave the Phoenix Suns. If he does, he may have one player in mind that he wants to team with.

NBA reporter Marc Stein wrote in his latest column that Ayton would “embrace” forming a new duo with Detroit Pistons star Cade Cunningham. The Pistons are one of the teams that are expected to make a push to sign Ayton.

Cunningham was the No. 1 overall pick in last year’s NBA Draft. The point guard averaged 17.4 points, 5.6 assists and 5.5 rebounds per game as a rookie. He was the best player on a Detroit team that won just 23 games.

In order for Ayton to leave Phoenix, the Suns would have to either choose to match an offer sheet the center received or negotiate a sign-and-trade with him. There may be one other team that has more to offer the Suns if the latter scenario plays out.

Deandre Ayton reportedly being pursued by 2 main teams

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

Rumors continue to intensify that Deandre Ayton will depart the Phoenix Suns this summer, and two teams appear to be emerging as possible favorites to sign him.

The Atlanta Hawks and Detroit Pistons have both made Ayton a “highly sought after” target, according to Zach Harper of The Athletic. The Sacramento Kings have also checked in on Ayton, though their interest does not seem as overt at the moment.

Ayton is a restricted free agent, so the Suns would have to work with him in order to move him this offseason. That would either involve refusing to match an offer sheet or negotiating a sign-and-trade. The Hawks on paper have more pieces that Phoenix might want in a trade, but the Pistons freed up a lot of cap space on Wednesday that could be dedicated to Ayton.

There do seem to be growing hints that Ayton’s future is away from the Suns. Both sides might be open to making that happen, but where and how remain questions that are yet to be answered.

Deandre Ayton offering big hint about his future?

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

You may not need a crystal ball to see what lies ahead for Deandre Ayton.

Duane Rankin of The Arizona Republic shared to Twitter on Monday an updated list of celebrity participants at Phoenix Suns center JaVale McGee’s upcoming charity softball game. Several of McGee’s teammates are slated to attend, including Chris Paul, Devin Booker, Mikal Bridges, Cameron Payne, Cameron Johnson, Landry Shamet, Torrey Craig, and Ish Wainwright. Suns GM James Jones is also on the list of participants.

One prominent figure missing from the list though is Ayton. At such a Suns-heavy event, his absence here feels very loud (and potentially serves as a hint that he plans to leave the team).

Rankin had noted last month, after Phoenix’s elimination from the playoffs, that Ayton was featured on the promo for the event. Just a day later though, Ayton’s likeness was gone.

This is consistent with the expected outcome for Ayton and the Suns. The ex-No. 1 overall pick appears to be on his way out after a contract impasse last offseason and a very disappointing playoff finish for Phoenix this year.

But it may not be all bad for the Suns if Ayton leaves. Reports are that there is a quality player they could get back in a possible Ayton sign-and-trade.

Suns could swap Deandre Ayton for another notable center?

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

The Phoenix Suns may be going even-steven with an opponent this summer.

Bleacher Report’s Jake Fischer reported Thursday that there are whispers among league personnel that the Suns could possibly flip Deandre Ayton to the Indiana Pacers in a sign-and-trade deal for fellow center Myles Turner. Fischer notes that Ayton and Turner share the same representation (Bill Duffy of BDA Sports Management).

The Suns can match any offer for the restricted free agent Ayton, but they aren’t expected to actually do so. Turner, for his part, is under contract for one more season at $17.5 million.

The two centers have fairly different skillsets. Turner is a better shot-blocker and three-point shooter, but Ayton is the superior rebounder with a more complete offensive game in the low post. A swap actually makes sense from a basketball standpoint since the Suns already a pair of ball-dominant stars in Chris Paul and Devin Booker while the Pacers probably need a younger, more dynamic big man to pair with guard Tyrese Haliburton.

Recent indications have been that the Pacers intend to keep Turner, but that could foreseeably change for the right price. As for Ayton, he might just find himself elsewhere in the Eastern Conference if not Indiana.

Deandre Ayton linked to notable Eastern Conference team

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

Deandre Ayton already seems to have one foot on the plane out of Phoenix. Now it turns out that his next stop could be on the other side of the country.

Appearing this week on “The Athletic NBA Show,” Bleacher Report’s Jake Fischer indicated that the Atlanta Hawks will be in the mix to sign the Phoenix Suns center Ayton this offseason.

“Atlanta is definitely another team that I’ve heard for Ayton,” said Fischer. “There’s one person I talked to pretty consistently who’s like convinced Ayton is the guy that Atlanta wants.”

The former No. 1 overall pick Ayton will become a restricted free agent this summer. The Hawks, with $152 million already on the books for next year, may have to get imaginative in order to make a realistic run at him. But they do have bigs John Collins and Clint Capela (their second and fourth highest-paid guys) to offer in a possible sign-and-trade for the higher-upside Ayton.

Ayton, 23, would hypothetically work well with Trae Young, who was a part of the same 2018 draft class. Ayton has offensive polish beyond just being a pure lob threat and can defend several positions with his 7-foot-6 wingspan. But there might be a more dynamic guard who wants to team up with Ayton.

H/T ProBasketballTalk

Damian Lillard reportedly wants to play with 1 particular star

Damian Lillard in a Blazers jersey

Dec 16, 2019; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard (0) against the Phoenix Suns at Talking Stick Resort Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Damian Lillard appears to have a notable player atop his Christmas wishlist.

Appearing this week on the “Dunc’d On Basketball NBA Podcast,” Bleacher Report’s Jake Fischer said that the Portland Trail Blazers star Lillard is interested in playing with Phoenix Suns center Deandre Ayton.

The ex-No. 1 overall pick Ayton, who posted 17.2 points and 10.2 rebounds per game this season, is set to become a restricted free agent. All indications are that the Suns will not bring back Ayton, who has been frustrated with his contract situation in Phoenix since last offseason.

Lillard, 31, has not played with a star big man in Portland since LaMarcus Aldridge left in 2015. Current starting 5 Jusuf Nurkic is an adequate middle man. But Nurkic is probably as good as he is going to get at 27 years old and is also an unrestricted free agent this summer.

The 23-year-old Ayton would be an excellent pick-and-roll battery mate for Lillard and could also anchor the Blazers’ defense on the other end. Portland clearly would like to stay competitive during Lillard’s waning prime years, as they were recently linked to another prominent talent as well.

Report: Suns likely to move on from key starter

Monty Williams on the sideline

Jan 10, 2020; Phoenix, Arizona, USA; Phoenix Suns head coach Monty Williams against the Orlando Magic at Talking Stick Resort Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The Phoenix Suns are coming off the heels of a disappointing playoff exit, and major changes may be in the works.

One of those changes may involve starting center Deandre Ayton. Ayton, a former first overall pick, is poised to become a restricted free agent this offseason. According to John Hollinger of The Athletic, it is “more likely than not” that Ayton is moved during the offseason, especially if Phoenix is able to find an appealing sign-and-trade opportunity.

The report names the Detroit Pistons as one team expected to do its due diligence regarding Ayton, but it is unclear how serious that interest may be.

Ayton’s future with the Suns has been murky for some time now. Contract talks before the season yielded nothing but frustration on both sides. That uncertainty hung over Ayton all season, and reports of a significant clash with coach Monty Williams during the Suns’ playoff exit did not help matters.

Ayton is still young with upside, as he turns 24 in July. The center averaged 17.2 points and 10.2 rebounds per game for Phoenix in 58 games last season.