Deandre Ayton could be on his way out of Phoenix


Photo: Phoenix Suns

The Suns could be getting ready for big changes. ESPN’s Tim MacMahon reported on a rumor that Deandre Ayton could be traded this summer. There are questions around the NBA about whether Ayton and Chris Paul will remain on the team.

The Suns’ challenge is to build a championship-level supporting cast around their pair of superstars, Kevin Durant and Devin Booker. Reportedly, they prioritize surrounding Durant and Booker with role players that complement them well, not adding another perennial All-Star.

Ayton’s relationship with head coach Monty Williams has been strained, particularly after the coach benched him during Game 7 of the Suns’ playoff series against the Mavericks. Ayton has also expressed frustration with Williams’ inconsistent communication and expectations.

Sources told ESPN that Ayton would be excited about a fresh start with another franchise. Although Ayton had a disappointing series against Denver, averaging 18.0 points and 10.0 rebounds per game this season, league sources expect several teams to show interest in acquiring him.

In the offseason, unable to agree on a contract extension with the Suns, Ayton became a restricted free agent. He signed a four-year, $133 million offer sheet with the Indiana Pacers, the largest in league history. The Suns matched the offer and signed Ayton to a multi-year contract.

This past season Ayton averaged 18 points, 10 rebounds and 1.7 assists in 30.4 minutes per game.

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