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RUMOR: 3 most likely Deandre Ayton destinations outside of Suns

Deandre Ayton, Suns

Deandre Ayton was hoping for a rookie max extension last summer along with the rest of the 2018 draft class, but it never happened. The Phoenix Suns believed he didn’t deserve it yet and even after a solid campaign in 2021-22, they still seem unwilling to reward him with a new contract. Now, with reported tension between Ayton and head coach Monty Williams, the trade rumors are swirling.

According to Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report, The Raptors, Pistons, and Hawks are all possible destinations for the Suns big man in a sign-and-trade, along with one dark horse team:

Ayton’s most realistic landing spots outside of Phoenix appear to be Atlanta, Detroit and Toronto, which all would present intriguing sign-and-trade opportunities for the Suns. League personnel have also whispered in recent days about a potential sign-and-trade of Ayton to Indiana for Myles Turner. Turner and Ayton share the same representation.

Marc Stein recently reported the Suns are expected to have serious sign-and-trade talks for Ayton, therefore this isn’t surprising news for the restricted free agent.

Toronto would be an intriguing landing spot for Ayton because they really lack an imposing figure down low. The Hawks? The same type of deal, although Clint Capela is relatively solid. As for Detroit, well, I’m sure Ayton wouldn’t want to go from a title contender to one of the worst teams in the league. The Pacers tidbit is also interesting because Phoenix could get a nice piece in return in Turner.

It’s becoming clear the Suns don’t want to invest in Ayton long-term. That being said, it would not be surprising at all to see him moved in the near future to one of these three teams, or possibly even another like the Blazers, who were previously mentioned in rumors.