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Deandre Ayton Reportedly A Target for Mavs

© Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

The offseason is a ways off for the Phoenix Suns, and yet Deandre Ayton has already surfaced in trade rumors. In a recent report, Ayton has been tied to a close rival with the Suns in the Dallas Mavericks.

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Per The Athletic’s Tim Cato, the 24-year-old center has become an intriguing target come the offseason along with Milwaukee Bucks forward Kris Middleton.

“Some names that have been floated as possibilities include the Phoenix Suns’ Deandre Ayton and the Milwaukee Bucks’ Khris Middleton,” wrote Cato on Monday. “But whether either party has mutual interest, or whether Dallas has the resources to acquire them, won’t be answered until this summer.”

Of course, having interest in Ayton and actually having the pieces necessary to acquire the seven-footer are two different feats.

Ayton, a former No.1 pick in the 2018 draft, is in the first year of a 4-year, $133 million max extension. After being largely regarded as a heavy trade piece for Kevin Durant, Phoenix was able to still retain Ayton.

How much interest the Suns give into talks with Ayton could depend on how far Phoenix can go with a title pursuit.

The Kyrie Dilemma

The Mavericks still have to settle up with superstar guard Kyrie Irving. His decision to stay in Dallas or explore other avenues could affect such a trade.

Despite getting an extension, Ayton’s relationship with the Suns hasn’t been the best. His lukewarm relationship with head coach Monty Williams has appeared to grow over the regular season. Even so, his overall “motor” has been called in to question numerous times.

Ayton has given a decent showing so far in the playoffs. He averaged 16 points and 11.2 rebounds in the first round against the Los Angeles Clippers.

As for the Irving front, the 31-year-old guard has been linked to Phoenix in previous reports.

Phoenix has a number of avenues to explore come the offseason. Ayton could possibly be one of those departures, along with the question of Chris Paul’s remaining tenure.

The Suns will continue to look for ways to build primarily around Devin Booker and Durant. If it comes down to it, Ayton could be expendable if the title pursuit comes to a halt this season.

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