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Suns May Explore Trade for Deandre Ayton

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A clear path to offseason success for the Phoenix Suns continues to become murkier. After mere days of head coach Frank Vogel heaving praise at Deandre Ayton, it appears Phoenix could potentially move the seven-footer this summer.

According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the Suns haven’t ruled out the possibility of moving on from the former No.1 pick. Such potential trades could include Chris Paul, who the Suns recently made aware that he would likely be on the move as well.

“Phoenix plans to explore trade opportunities including Paul and Deandre Ayton that could alter the franchise’s roster landscape ahead of a final decision on Paul’s partially guaranteed contract, sources said.” Wrote Wojnarowski on Wednesday.

Ayton’s future with Phoenix will heavily involve intertwining with that of Paul. Over the past month, it’s been made well known that James Jones intends to build a championship roster surrounding Devin Booker and Kevin Durant.

Report: Chris Paul and Suns Exploring Multiple Options Including Waive

While Paul nor Ayton seem to fit into that agenda, the former poses a larger issue. Paul, 38, has a partially guaranteed year remaining on his deal worth $30.8 million. Only $15.8 million of his contract is guaranteed.

Simply waiving Paul rewards no merits for the Suns. On the other hand, enticing teams with the addition of Ayton could sweeten the deal.

Ayton recently signed a 4-year, $133 million max extension last summer. To date though, Ayton hasn’t lived up to the lofty expectations of a former No.1 pick.

With the Suns in a deadlock cap space-wise, Ayton may be the quickest solution to adding depth to the roster. The seven-footer averaged 18 points and 10 rebounds this season.

If not for his lack of intensity, Ayton’s future with Phoenix would be a foregone conclusion. Yet after throwing all the chips in on trading for Durant, the Suns are now on a timetable.

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