Nets Would be ‘Problem’ With Potential Blockbuster Trade for $132 Million 7-Footer, per Insider

Kevin Durant

Getty The Nets continue to be a team linked to trade rumors.

When Kevin Durant requested a trade from the Brooklyn Nets this summer, two teams had a real opportunity to trade for Durant based on the package they could send in exchange for the superstar. The Boston Celtics were one and even offered Jaylen Brown in a trade that Brooklyn denied. Then there was the Phoenix Suns, who had a chance with a package of players and Deandre Ayton included in the deal. However, Ayton signed a 4-year $132 million contract that made him untradeable until January 15. 

Now, as people like Kendrick Perkins call for the Suns to trade Ayton, the Nets could re-enter the mix for the 7-footer. In a mailbag episode of ‘Real Ones with Raja Bell and Logan Murdock,’ the former NBA star and NBA insider answered a question about the possibility of Ayton being dealt to Brooklyn. 

“The last part, Deandre Ayton to Brooklyn? Yeah, I think that would be big time for Brooklyn. I don’t know how feasible that is or realistic or what the cap situation would look like and who it’s got to be. But if you just took Deandre Ayton and some fringe pieces from Brooklyn and swapped them? Yeah, I think that would be huge,” Bell said on the 12/ 

“Brooklyn is a problem right now, but Brooklyn would be a PROOOOOBLEM,” Murdock agreed. 

Why the Suns Would Trade Deandre Ayton

In the hypothetical, Bell talks about Ayton being dealt for fringe pieces from Brooklyn. How does that happen? Well, the Nets have a pretty deep bench with some of the emerging play of Cam Thomas, who has proven to have a lot of upside, TJ Warren turning heads in his return from injury, and players like Joe Harris and Seth Curry, who many believe could be dealt this season. However, Ayton could find himself dealt for less for the friction he is causing in the Suns’ locker room. The 24-year-old former number one overall pick has been seen arguing with Suns head coach Monty Williams and even Mikal Bridges. Because of this, Perkins has called for the Suns to deal the big man. 

“It is something. It is something. And it’s something with the guy you drafted number one about three years ago in Deandre Ayton and the head coach. It’s not a small thing. This is a big thing,” Perkins explained. “So, this fire has already been lit, and I don’t believe that you can put it out. In my opinion, it looks like Deandre Ayton is the scapegoat. It looks like the team doesn’t have the patience for him. Whether or not he don’t fit the culture of their organization or he doesn’t go about doing things the way others do. To me, it seems like they don’t embrace him with open arms. And right now, I don’t see no coming back from this. I actually think, when he’s eligible to get traded, they’re going to have to trade him.”

Who Brooklyn Could Trade for Ayton

The Nets are on a roll right now and, as of December 28, have won 9 straight basketball games. With their recent success, it is hard to see them trading a player like Kyrie Irving or Ben Simmons to Phoneix to potentially shake up their current roster. However, they do need big man depth. 

So, if Phoenix is going to have to trade Ayton like Perkins has speculated, who could the Nets offer that wouldn’t shake up their starting lineup? 

Joe Harris would likely be required to be in any proposal for Ayton as he can help match the salary of the Suns center, but other pieces will need to be in the deal for the Nets to take on Ayton’s contract. Patty Mills, who the Nets have also been expected to trade, is another contract that could help match the money. Then the Suns would need young talent like Cam Thomas or even a Day’Ron Sharpe with a lot of upside in the deal. Could a package like that be enough? Would Phoenix be desperate enough to deal Ayton? It’s hard to say at the moment, but if he is dealt to Brooklyn after the January 15 deadline, the Nets surely would be a problem adding Ayton to their frontcourt. 


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