Former No. 1 Pick Floated as Celtics Trade Target

DeAndre Ayton, Kevin Durant

Getty Kevin Durant #35 of the Phoenix Suns high fives Deandre Ayton #22 during the third quarter against the LA Clippers in game five of the Western Conference First Round Playoffs at Footprint Center on April 25, 2023 in Phoenix, Arizona. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

The Boston Celtics may be on the lookout for possible frontcourt additions this summer. While they may very well turn to free agency to shore up their frontcourt, Matt Moore of Action Network floated Deandre Ayton as an option.

“Perhaps equally notable is that Boston is said to be in the market for frontcourt additions, which Deandre Ayton would certainly qualify as, (That, however, is speculative on my part.)” Moore wrote.

Ayton has well-documented issues with his current team, the Phoenix Suns. Zach Lowe revealed on his podcast that the Suns are “tired” of him. Perhaps a change of scenery would be just what the doctor ordered for Ayton.

Jake Fischer of Yahoo Sports reported something similar on June 16, saying that “the Celtics are evaluating trade avenues to upgrade a thinner frontcourt, league sources told Yahoo Sports.”

It makes sense why the Celtics are looking for help in their frontcourt, as Al Horford is 37 years old with only so much playing time left before he calls it a career. Robert Williams III has come along quite well over the years for the Celtics, but he continues to prove himself to be injury-prone.

Ayton’s issues with the Suns, along with the $100-plus million he’s owed over the next three years, could turn them off, but he is much younger than Horford and more dependable physically than Williams.

Suns Interested in Malcolm Brogdon

In that same report from Fischer, he named Malcolm Brogdon among the players the Suns are interested in acquiring.

“Two names to keep an eye on in Phoenix’s trade pursuits: Atlanta Hawks forward John Collins and Boston Celtics guard Malcolm Brogdon,” Fischer wrote. “The Suns acquiring either of those veterans might require a third team to accept Paul’s outgoing salary — such as the Houston Rockets with their $60 million of cap space and counting — but Brogdon and Collins are a pair of players Phoenix has registered interest in during trade conversations with Boston and Atlanta, respectively, that date back to the trade deadline, sources said.”

ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported that the Suns traded for Washington Wizards star Bradley Beal on June 18, which may or may not impact their interest in Brogdon since they have both Beal and Devin Booker in their backcourt.

Malcolm Brogdon Considered ‘Most Likely’ to Be Traded

While mentioning that the Celtics are looking to thin out their backcourt, NBA Insider Marc Stein revealed which one is the most likely to get traded.

“Word is the most likely of the group to be dealt, entering the weekend, was Malcolm Brogdon rather than Marcus Smart, Derrick White or Payton Pritchard,” Stein wrote on his Substack.

In Fishcer’s June 16 report, he added that Brogdon’s name has come up the most in trade talks, though only the Suns are the only team confirmed to be interested in him.

“Of the four Celtics guards, Brogdon’s name has been mentioned the most among league executives this past week, although Phoenix has so far been the only team cited by several NBA voices as a suitor to have interest in the Sixth Man of the Year.”

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