Connect with us

Phoenix Sports News

Should the Suns Trade Deandre Ayton?

© Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Spread the love

As the days draw nearer towards the NBA trade deadline, Phoenix Suns center Deandre Ayton’s name will be brought up more times than not.

Ayton, 24, became trade eligible this week. As such, there’s an uneven balance of opinions on whether or not to ship the big man off.

The Toronto Raptors reportedly have interest in Ayton along with Indiana Pacers center Myles Turner. The Raptors ultimate objective remains unclear at the moment.

Either way, a return for Ayton would be a haul. The former No.1 pick is on the first year of his four-year, $132 million deal from his extension this summer.

The bigger question, money aside, is should the Suns trade their No.2 option?

Ayton’s Development

The ground floor agreement for most Phoenix fans was not allowing Ayton to walk for anything last summer. If Ayton was to stick around for the long haul, then his development would need to be on display this season.

Fast forward nearly halfway through the season, and Ayton has played 39 of the Suns’ 45 games so far.

He’s averaging 17.3 points, 9.7 rebounds and 2.1 assists per game.

Of all those numbers, Ayton’s passing abilities have seemed to improve over prior seasons. Ayton has found himself double-teamed more times than not this season, and his ability to pass out to an open shooter has been impressive.

His scoring does leave more to be desired, as he hasn’t become a consistent 20-25 point threat on any given night.

Booker, the go-to scorer for the Suns, along with Chris Paul have both been out for an extended amount of time. Booker last played on Christmas Day for only four minutes.

Since then, Ayton has averaged 16.5 points per game while attempting 15.2 field goals. He’s also only attempting 2.1 free throws per contest.

Phoenix has an ongoing issue overall getting to the free throw line. As such, it’s up to leaders such as Ayton to set the tone for drawing contact and making the most of simple points.

For reference to Ayton, Joel Embiid is averaging nearly 12 (11.8) free throws per game.

Part of Ayton’s hinderance could be a result of head coach Monty William’s use of the big man in his style of play. On the contrary, Ayton’s slim build doesn’t prime him for the brutal post play like that of Embiid.

Of course, the Suns will return to full strength soon. But for Ayton, being able to showcase the worthiness of a max deal as the lone star may have been a missed opportunity.

Shipping Ayton to Toronto

There’s obviously more teams behind the scenes inquiring on Ayton’s availability. The Raptors have put themselves at the forefront of that conversation, however.

The more intriguing question for Toronto is what would they be willing to let go of in return for Ayton?

Ayton has an average annual salary of $33.2 million, according to Spotrac.

On the opposite side of the spectrum, the Raps have a complex dilemma. Fred VanVleet, who recently turned down a extension, is on the last year of a four-year, $85 million deal. His contract could fit into a trade, but wouldn’t suffice without adding more pieces.

On top of that, VanVleet has come up as one of the targets on the Suns’ radar going into the offseason. Toronto has a number of players that could fill the gap, with OG Anunoby being a name that’s drawn interest from multiple clubs.

One player that perfectly fits into the deal would be Pascal Siakam. Although Siakam slides into the deal financially sound, it’s still unclear what the Raptors would want back in a blockbuster deal such as this besides Ayton.

The Suns have done well thus far in maintaining focus amid the Jae Crowder dilemma. Holding off a while longer in regards to Ayton’s trade availability would be wise.

Although, if the right deal was to come along, the Suns may need to consider parting ways with their star center.

More in Phoenix Sports News

Loading More Posts...