NBA 2022 off-season: Multiple teams interested in DeAndre Ayton
According to multiple sources, the race for DeAndre Ayton is heating up, with the restricted free agent likely leaving the NBA’s Phoenix Suns.
Pheonix Suns’ Deandre Ayton may leave Arizona this NBA off-season after some contract disputes and limited offensive opportunity last year. Ayton, who the Suns drafted with the first pick in the NBA 2018 Draft, was one of the players who had to sacrifice a lot of his offensive touches to accommodate a contending team with Chris Paul and Devin Booker. Ayton was expecting a max contract extension last offseason. However, that never materialized. The Suns can still retain Ayton in free agency as they have matching right as the big man is a restricted free agent.
According to Insider Marc Stein, the possibility of the Suns retaining Ayton is reducing with reported internal conflict, and the likes of the San Antonio Spurs, Toronto Raptors, Portland Trail Blazers, Detroit Pistons, and Atlanta Hawks are all interested in the former Arizona Big Man.
On Monday, Marc Stein reported, “San Antonio, Toronto, Portland, Detroit, and Atlanta have all been mentioned as potential Ayton suitors. There are bound to be more if the Suns are ready to move on and Ayton is truly gettable.” With Ayton a restricted free agent, the Suns will likely explore sign and trade options if they want to let the big man leave. All four teams will have assets that may interest the Suns.”
The San Antonio Spurs have Keldon Johnson and Jakob Poeltl, a young wing and a starting-calibre center who could replace Ayton in the short term. The Toronto Raptors may part ways with OG Anunoby in a possible deal for Ayton. The Portland Trail Blazers would reportedly be willing to move on from their seventh overall pick and Josh Hart, while The Detroit Pistons have Jerami Grant and Hamidou Diallo, two wings that may entice the Suns. The Atlanta Hawks can offer Clint Capela their 16th overall Draft pick and another asset to pair up Deandre Ayton and Trae Young.