Trading Jrue Holiday and Grayson Allen in the Damian Lillard blockbuster created a roster opening for the Bucks, who still need a backup point guard. Free agent Cameron Payne is worth keeping an eye on for that spot, league sources tell Jake Fischer of Yahoo Sports.
As Fischer writes, the Bucks considered several trade packages last season that would have sent Allen to the Suns when they were pursuing Jae Crowder. Milwaukee eventually landed Crowder at the February deadline without involving Allen, but he’ll end up in Phoenix as part of this deal, which shows the club’s interest in the sharpshooting guard was indeed legitimate.
The Suns added two extra players in the three-team deal, sending Deandre Ayton and Toumani Camara to Portland and receiving Allen, Jusuf Nurkic, Nassir Little, Keon Johnson. They now have 17 players on standard contracts, with Johnson ($2.8MM guaranteed) and Ish Wainright ($1.9MM non-guaranteed) the top early candidates to be waived ahead of the 2023/24 season, sources tell Fischer.
Jordan Goodwin‘s deal for ’23/24 is only partially guaranteed, but Fischer hears Phoenix decided to move Camara instead because Goodwin is friends with Bradley Beal and is the only point guard on the roster.
As for Ayton, Suns players and front office members alike were “eager for a change of direction,” according to Fischer, which is why the club decided to trade the former No. 1 overall pick. For his part, Ayton is glad to have a “fresh start” in Portland, sources tell Fischer.