Phoenix Suns star Deandre Ayton’s game has fallen off since losing in the 2021 NBA Finals. Phoenix has also suffered back-to-back exits in the second round of the playoffs in that span.
Per Gerald Bourget of PHNX, the Dallas Mavericks have tried to lure Ayton away from the Suns, but to this point, Phoenix has been underwhelmed by their offers.
“One source told PHNX Sports that the Dallas Mavericks made an underwhelming offer for Ayton over the summer, and ESPN’s Tim MacMahon reported in May that Ayton would be ‘excited about a fresh start with another franchise’ following the Suns’ second-round playoff loss to the Denver Nuggets,” Gerald Bourget of PHNX writes.
“It would take a compelling offer to get the Suns to reconsider their stance on Ayton. Not only would Phoenix seek a starting-caliber big man to replace DA, but they would also need additional assets — either a young player with potential who could also contribute right now on a contender, draft compensation to help refill their empty cupboard, or both.
Although the Suns considered trade offers for Deandre Ayton the night of the 2023 NBA Draft, those offers were subpar. One source went as far as calling them ‘trash,’ so the Suns kept their former No. 1 pick through the offseason.”
Suns Tried to Trade Deandre Ayton to Sixers
A recent report from Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer suggested that the Suns offered Ayton to the Philadelphia 76ers in exchange for Tobias Harris, but Sixers’ general manager Darryl Morey did not budge. When the Sixers shut down their offer, the Suns upped the stakes and asked Philadelphia to get a third team involved, which they vehemently denied.
“The Sixers have no interest in the 7-foot, 250-pounder with three years and $102 million left on his contract. And why would they when franchise player and reigning MVP Joel Embiid, like Ayton, plays center? The Sixers also do not have any interest in any of the players the Suns would make available,” Pompey said of Ayton.
“So, Phoenix wants the Sixers to get a third team involved to facilitate the deal, according to a source. However, the Sixers are unwilling to do so.”
Suns Coach Sounds off on Deandre Ayton
When Ayton is actively engaged, he is still one of the best centers in the NBA. But there are times when he is disengaged, and everything unravels for him. It is one of the reasons that Suns’ former head coach Monty Williams had him split the minutes at the five spot with undrafted center Jock Landale in the playoffs.
But maybe Williams being on the outskirts and a championship-winning head coach in Frank Vogel coming in to take his place could be just what Ayton needs to ensure he reaches an elite level. During an appearance on Sirius XM Radio, Suns’ new head coach, Frank Vogel, sounded optimistic about getting to coach Ayton.
“I am off to a great start with him from a relationship standpoint, in terms of understanding that if we want him to defend and rebound at an All-Star level, then we are going to have to involve him a little more in the offense. That’s just basketball 101. You learn that as a youngster,” Vogel said to Sirius XM NBA Radio via Sports Illustrated.
“You got to give those big guys the ball sometimes. When they get it, then they’ll run through the wall for you on the other end. I think we are off to a great start with that – he’s going to be a big part of what we do.”