Suns’ Deandre Ayton “Very Unlikely” To Be Traded?

Deandre Ayton was rumored to be one of the bigger names on the trading block this offseason, but John Gambadoro of Arizona Sports 98.7 FM hears the Suns‘ starting center is “very unlikely” to be dealt (Twitter link).

The news isn’t exactly surprising. ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported last week that Phoenix’s efforts to trade Ayton haven’t been very fruitful so far, calling the big man’s market “lean” and saying there wasn’t an “obvious” deal to be made.

A big part of that is likely Ayton’s contract. He signed a maximum-salary offer sheet with Indiana last summer as a restricted free agent, which Phoenix quickly matched. The former No. 1 overall pick is owed $102MM over the next three seasons.

Ayton, who turns 25 next month, famously didn’t have a great relationship with former head coach Monty Williams. However, Gambadoro reported yesterday that new head coach Frank Vogelloves” Ayton and suggested that would be a factor in favor of him sticking with the Suns.

Gambadoro previously reported that the Wizards were interested in acquiring Ayton in exchange for Bradley Beal, but the Suns weren’t interested in that deal. They ended up agreeing to trade Chris Paul and Landry Shamet (along with six second-round picks and four first-round pick swaps) to Washington, with Paul set to be rerouted to Golden State.

The Suns are expected to split Ayton’s large contract into multiple depth pieces if they do end up moving him, according to Gambadoro. Clearly, he’s pouring cold water on that possibility now.

Ayton has averaged a double-double in each of his five NBA seasons. In 2022/23, he posted 18.0 PPG and 10.0 RPG in 67 games (30.4 MPG), shooting 58.9% from the floor and 76.0% from the charity stripe.

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