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Did Deandre Ayton request to be Traded?

The Phoenix Suns were part of a big three team trade that shook up the sports world last week. The other two teams included in the deal were the Milwaukee Bucks and Portland Trailblazers. There were a lot of moving pieces in this deal.

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Details of the Trade

  • Milwaukee Received: Damian Lillard (via Portland)
  • Portland Received: Jrue Holiday (via Milwaukee), Deandre Ayton (via Phoenix), Toumani Camara (via Phoenix), 2029 1st round pick (via Milwaukee), 2028 and 2030 1st round pick swaps (via Milwaukee)
  • Phoenix Received: Jusuf Nurkic (via Portland), Grayson Allen (via Milwaukee), Nassir Little (via Portland), Keon Johnson (via Portland)

The Trailblazers later traded Jrue Holiday to the Boston Celtics. Portland got Malcolm Brogdon, Robert Williams, A 2024 first round pick, and 2029 first round pick in exchange for Holiday.

What led to Ayton’s exit?

The Suns were in trade rumors the entire off-season that surrounded Ayton. Ayton has flirted with leaving the Suns before. Last off-season, he signed a four year, 133 million dollar offer as a restricted free agent with the Indiana Pacers. Phoenix matched that offer and Ayton returned to have a good regular season. The former Arizona Wildcat averaged 18 points and 10 rebounds per game last season.

The playoffs were a different story as his production took a dip. Ayton averaged 13.4 points and 9.7 rebounds per game. He also appeared to not want “the smoke” with Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic in the second round. This led to lots of criticism from the NBA world.

Kendrick Perkins was not the only one to question Ayton’s heart. This may have led to Ayton wanting a fresh start.

Ayton said, “I thank them (the Suns) for handling it the way they handled it and accommodating my wishes.”

This definitely sounds like a trade was requested. A NBA player requesting a trade would not shocking as it has become common practice in today’s league. The fact that this one was kept quiet, if requested, would be the more shocking part.

Ayton will have a bigger role in the offense in Portland while the Suns have a center who may be the perfect fit in Jusuf Nurkic. This may be a win-win situation for all parties involved.

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