Deandre Ayton Is "More Likely Than Not" Done With Suns

It looks like the Phoenix Suns will be shopping for a new man in the middle this Summer, according to John Hollinger of The Athletic. The senior NBA columnist writes of Deandre Ayton, “It’s more likely than not he’s in a new destination next season, especially if the Suns can work out a sign-and-trade that brings back some value.”

Rumors started swirling that the NBA’s number one overall pick from 2018 was unhappy with the team that drafted him after arguments with head coach Monty Williams became public. Ayton and the reigning NBA Coach of the Year winner had heated words, caught on camera during Phoenix’s uninspiring early exit from this year’s playoffs. Reports then surfaced that the relationship was fractured well before the spat on the screen.

Ayton becomes a restricted free agent in a month and is said to be looking for max money, something the Suns seem hesitant to dole out.

Despite not being the offense’s focal point, the near seven-footer is coming off an outstanding season with Phoenix. Ayton averaged a double-double with 17.2 points and a team-best 10.2 rebounds while leading the club, shooting 63.4 percent from the field.

Before free agency begins, the NBA Draft goes down on June 23rd, but the Suns won’t be finding their potential new center from the college ranks this season. Phoenix is one of four teams without a pick in the 2022 draft.

Just because Phoenix is missing out on the fun doesn’t mean you have to. FanDuel Sportsbook has Jabari Smith (-550) as the odds-on favorite to go number one this year, with Chet Holmgren (+350) the only other NCAA player with a realistic shot at being taken by the Orlando Magic in the top spot. Duke’s Paolo Banchero is next in line at a whopping +3000.