Quinton Mayo, who was first to report that Spencer Dinwiddie was headed to the Wizards in a multi-team deal, tweets Wednesday that he’s hearing the Nets may be in the market for DeAndre Ayton, the 6’11” Phoenix Suns center who’s viewed by many as the top free agent in this year’s class.
Mayo, who works for BetMGM out of Washington, reported what he’s hearing in two tweets early Wednesday afternoon...
Just some things I’ve heard.— Quinton Mayo (@RealQuintonMayo) June 29, 2022
A possible package landing Ayton in BKN, and sending out Nic Claxton, Joe Harris, and maybe Cam Thomas. https://t.co/LfDx0LgKiA
At first glance, the trade would seem to be somewhat difficult because it would involve sign-and-trades of both Ayton and Claxton. Multiple sources report that Claxton will be signed to a longer term deal when free agency opens Thursday night.
Adrian Wojnarowski reported Wednesday on SportsCenter that the Suns have been hesitant about making a lucrative long-term commitment to the 2018 first overall pick.
“Phoenix has simply decided they don’t value Deandre Ayton on a max contract,” Woj said. “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...
“It’s looking increasingly likely that Ayton is elsewhere in the NBA on a sign-and-trade deal,” added Woj who did not name possible landing spots.
Similarly, Brian Windhorst, Woj’s ESPN colleague, reported that Phoenix is not that upset about the prospect of losing the Bahamian big, “[The Suns] believe that they could find a number of other centers who can give them the type of production that Deandre Ayton can.”
Ayton had a career year with Phoenix averaging 17.2 points, 10.7 rebounds and almost a block a game on 63/37/75 shooting splits. The Arizona product is 23, but there were questions about his effort.
Because of the potential hard cap issues — for both sides — in Mayo’s scenario, the deal would almost certainly require a third or even fourth team to get it done. The Nets would be giving up their longest-serving player in Harris, who will be paid $18.6 million this coming season and nearly $20 million in 2023-24.
Last summer, Ayton was way ahead of the competition on both the basic story, timing and details of the five-team trade.
- Deandre Ayton Rumors: ‘No Traction’ with Suns on Contract Amid Sign-and-Trade Buzz - Tim Daniels - Bleacher Report
- Patty Mills opts out as Deandre Ayton-to-Nets trade rumors heat up - Brian Lewis - New York Post
- Deandre Ayton trade to the Nets is unlikely because of these CBA bylaws - Kristian Winfield - New York Daily News
- Nets could target these three players in NBA free agency - Brian Lewis - New York Post
- Evaluating the Nets’ potential targets with the taxpayer exception in free agency - Alex Schiffer - The Athletic