Proposed Blockbuster Sees Bulls Trade for Ex-No. 1 Pick

Deandre Ayton of the Phoenix Suns, who lands with the Chicago Bulls in a proposed trade.

Getty Deandre Ayton of the Phoenix Suns, who lands with the Chicago Bulls in a proposed trade.

The Chicago Bulls have been connected to multiple centers in offseason rumors and the NBA draft hasn’t even happened yet. Free agency is right around the corner, but according to reports, the Bulls are already looking at players such as Rudy Gobert and Mitchell Robinson.

Nikola Vucevic is a solid starter, but he lacks the defensive presence that Chicago desperately needs. In turn, exploring trade options for him could be an offseason plan for the Bulls, despite the fact that recent rumors indicate that the big man believes he’ll remain with the Bulls next year.

One potential trade that could be worth exploring would be for Phoenix Suns center Deandre Ayton. His situation in Phoenix is rapidly deteriorating and the Bulls have some solid pieces to throw at the Suns. Here’s what a potential offer could look like for the young big man.

Bulls receive: Deandre Ayton

Suns receive: Nikola Vucevic, Coby White

There might have to be picks involved, too, but that would be the basis of the deal. Phoenix would lose out on the defensive end, but snagging Vucevic would allow them to not pay Ayton. Plus, they would get to take a chance on White with Chris Paul mentoring him.

This deal falls in line with the recent reports about Ayton’s current situation, too.

Ayton Named ‘Most Likely’ to Move Teams

According to longtime insider Marc Stein, Ayton is more likely to switch teams this summer than any other trade candidate in the league. He was posted the question, “who is the most prominent player likely to switch teams this offseason?” In turn, he asked some of his sources, and this was the conclusion.

“I fumbled for the answer when I was asked on the spot, but I’ve since borrowed the excellent framing of the question in question for use when I speak with representatives from other teams,” Stein wrote. “The name most cited when I ask: Phoenix’s Deandre Ayton. It’s Ayton ahead of Utah’s Rudy Gobert, Detroit’s Jerami Grant, Atlanta’s John Collins and Toronto’s OG Anunoby, as well as the stars whose current teams can significantly outbid the field in free agency, most notably Chicago’s Zach LaVine and Washington’s Bradley Beal.”

The Suns big man averaged 17.2 points, 10.2 rebounds, and 1.4 assists this past season on 63.4% shooting from the field. However, his relationship with the team came into question after the two parties could not agree on a contract extension last offseason.

Now, it’s looking like Phoenix will be looking to trade Ayton.

Suns ‘Increasingly Expected’ to Trade Ayton

In addition to the reports of Ayton being the most-likely trade candidate, Stein reported that the Suns will, unsurprisingly, explore sign-and-trade options for the big man.

“What seems clear, with less than three weeks to go until free agency commences June 30, is that Phoenix is increasingly expected to engage in serious sign-and-trade talks centered around Ayton, with external skepticism only rising regarding the Suns’ willingness to make a hefty long-term investment in their center,” Stein reported.

There may be better offers out there, but Chicago has a strong starting point with Vucevic and White. Ayton would give them a talented young big man to build around moving forward.

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