NBA Trade Buzz: Deandre Ayton on the Move? Suns Explore Sign-and-Trade with Pacers, Eyeing Myles Turner Swap

The Phoenix Suns: An Impending Sign-and-Trade Deal for Deandre Ayton

The Phoenix Suns, despite their success in the regular season, have apparently decided not to offer their starting center, Deandre Ayton, a max-contract extension. This decision has led to speculation that the Suns will opt for a sign-and-trade deal with the Indiana Pacers in order to receive something in return. Both Brian Windhorst from ESPN and Shams Charania from The Athletic have indicated that a deal is imminent. Currently, the Pacers are finalizing the paperwork for a trade involving Malcom Brogdon with the Boston Celtics, which means they will soon be able to focus on the details of an Ayton trade.

Ayton’s Rocky Road with the Suns

The Phoenix Suns were undoubtedly the best team in the NBA during the regular season, finishing with an impressive 64-18 record and securing the #1 seed in the Western Conference playoffs. However, their postseason journey came to a disappointing end when they were eliminated by the Dallas Mavericks in a disastrous Game 7 blowout. What made matters worse was the decision made by head coach Monty Williams to bench Ayton in the second half for internal reasons. This move strongly indicated that Ayton may have played his last game with the Suns.

The Suns’ Championship Odds and Durant Implications

Despite their postseason disappointment, the Suns are still seen as strong contenders in the 2023 NBA Championship race. They currently hold +600 odds, placing them second on DraftKings’ futures board. On the other hand, the Pacers find themselves at the bottom of the odds board, with +10000 odds.

If the Suns proceed with the sign-and-trade deal involving Ayton, it would likely remove them from the running for Kevin Durant. While there were initial rumors connecting the Suns to a potential trade for Durant, it seems that they were never serious contenders. The Nets, who hold Durant’s contract, are reportedly not interested in Ayton as part of a trade package for Durant. Additionally, the Suns would have to give up significant assets to acquire Durant, such as Mikal Bridges, draft picks, and other valuable players. This would leave the Suns with a depleted roster, consisting primarily of Devin Booker, Chris Paul, Durant, and a supporting cast of minimum-contract players.

The Raptors: A Potential Landing Spot for Durant

If the Suns do trade Ayton to the Pacers, the Toronto Raptors emerge as a likely destination for Durant in a trade with the Nets. The Raptors possess a combination of enticing draft picks and young players, including OG Anunoby and Rookie of the Year Scottie Barnes, which could entice the Nets to make a deal.

Myles Turner: Seeking a Fresh Start

While the focus has primarily been on Deandre Ayton and the Suns, the Indiana Pacers’ Myles Turner finds himself at a crossroads as well. Turner has expressed frustration with his role on the Pacers, particularly on the offensive end. He strongly believes that he has sacrificed his offensive game in order to excel defensively, and he aspires to contribute more on offense while maintaining his stellar defense.

Turner, who missed half of last season due to a foot injury, made an impact in the 42 games he played for the Pacers. Shooting an impressive 51% from the floor, he averaged 12.9 points, 7.1 rebounds, and 2.8 blocks per game. Notably, two seasons ago, Turner led the league in blocks with an average of 3.4 per game. He has also showcased his ability to shoot from beyond the arc, boasting a career 35% success rate from 3-point range.

A Change of Scenery and Role for Turner

If the sign-and-trade deal involving Ayton and Turner comes to fruition, Turner will have the opportunity to join a championship-contending team in the Suns while expanding his role as a valuable two-way player. The Pacers underwent a significant team overhaul last season, parting ways with key starters like Domantas Sabonis and Caris LeVert. They continued this trend by trading Brogdon during the summer, leaving Turner dissatisfied and likely on his way out.

The revamped Pacers are building a young team, with players like Buddy Hield, Tyreese Haliburton (the frontrunner for the 2023 NBA Most Improved Player award), and the promising rookie Bennedict Mathurin, the #6 pick in the 2022 NBA Draft.

Conclusion

In conclusion, the Phoenix Suns’ decision not to offer Deandre Ayton a max-contract extension has resulted in widespread speculation about an impending sign-and-trade deal with the Indiana Pacers involving Ayton and Myles Turner. While the Suns strive to maintain their championship aspirations, securing a suitable return for Ayton through this prospective trade becomes vital. At the same time, Turner looks to escape his frustration with the Pacers and join a championship-caliber team where he can showcase his offensive skills without compromising his exceptional defensive abilities.

FAQs

1. Will this sign-and-trade deal impact the Phoenix Suns’ chances of acquiring other notable players?

No, this potential deal is specific to Deandre Ayton and Myles Turner. Its impact on the Suns’ pursuit of other players will depend on the specific assets involved in the trade.

2. Are there any other teams interested in acquiring Deandre Ayton?

While the focus has been on a potential trade with the Indiana Pacers, other teams in need of a prominent center may express interest in Ayton. However, the outcome will depend on the Suns’ willingness to engage in negotiations with other organizations.

3. How will Myles Turner’s offensive skills enhance the Phoenix Suns’ game?

Turner’s offensive prowess, combined with his defensive excellence, will provide the Suns with an added dimension. His ability to stretch the floor with his shooting and contribute offensively will greatly benefit the team’s overall performance.

4. Which teams, apart from the Toronto Raptors, could potentially trade for Kevin Durant?

While the Raptors seem like a favorable destination, other teams with the necessary assets to acquire Durant could also explore trade possibilities with the Brooklyn Nets. It ultimately depends on the willingness of these teams to part with valuable players and draft picks.

5. What can we expect from the Phoenix Suns in the upcoming NBA season?

With or without Ayton, the Phoenix Suns remain a formidable team in the NBA. While the outcome of any trade involving Ayton is uncertain, the Suns will continue to build upon their success and strive for another deep playoff run in pursuit of the championship.

Doug I. Jones

Doug I. Jones

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