Proposed Trade Lands Suns $140 Million Star Center for Deandre Ayton

Phoenix Suns center Deandre Ayton

Getty Phoenix Suns center Deandre Ayton

A new trade proposal has the Phoenix Suns parting ways with Deandre Ayton.

In a story about “one new trade idea” for each NBA team, Grant Hughes of Bleacher Report proposed that the Suns trade Ayton to the Indiana Pacers for center Myles Turner and point guard T.J. McConnell.

On July 16, the day Hughes’ story was published, the Suns traded Payne to the San Antonio Spurs, according to The Athletic’s Shams Charania.

“Here, Phoenix gets a floor-spacing center in Turner who’ll block more shots than Ayton, plus a point guard in McConnell who might deserve to start (or even close) over incumbent Cameron Payne,” Hughes wrote. “Of their extremely limited options, the Suns could do a lot worse than Turner, McConnell and a little under $3 million in salary savings this season.”

Turner averaged 18.0 points, 7.5 rebounds, 1.4 assists and 2.3 blocks last season for the Pacers while shooting 54.8% from the field, 37.3% from beyond the arc and 78.3% from the free-throw line. He’s led the NBA in blocks per game twice.

The 27-year-old Turner will have made over $140 million in his career once his current contract ends. He signed a two-year, $58 million extension with the Pacers in January.

The Suns could start Eric Gordon, Bradley Beal, Devin Booker, Kevin Durant and Turner if they acquired Turner from the Pacers.

Suns Will Not Trade for James Harden: Report

The Suns have zero interest in trading for Philadelphia 76ers star James Harden, according to John Gambadoro of Arizona Sports 98.7 FM.

Harden has opted into his 2023-24 player option with the Sixers and wants to get traded. However, the Suns will not be trading for the 2017-18 MVP, Gambadoro said.

Harden and Durant were teammates on the Oklahoma City Thunder and Brooklyn Nets. Harden played college basketball at Arizona State, so he’s familiar with the Phoenix area.

However, the Suns have already made a blockbuster trade this summer, acquiring Beal from the Washington Wizards. Phoenix now has a Big 3 of Beal, Durant and Booker.

Harden wants the Sixers to trade him to the Los Angeles Clippers, according to Sam Amick and Kelly Iko of The Athletic. However, since Harden doesn’t have a no-trade clause in his contract, Philadelphia can trade the 10-time All-Star anywhere.

Suns Will Not Trade for Paul George Either: Report

The Suns never discussed trading for Clippers All-Star Paul George, according to Gambadoro.

Phoenix hired Frank Vogel, who coached George on the Pacers, as its new head coach. There had been speculation that Vogel wanted to reunite with George since the two are close.

However, the Suns won’t be trading for George.

George played in only 87 out of a possible 164 games in the past two seasons. The small forward averaged 23.8 points, 6.1 rebounds and 5.1 assists for the Clippers last season while shooting 45.7% from the floor, 37.1% from 3 and 87.1% from the free-throw line. He’s one of the best two-way players in the NBA.

However, George missed the last nine games of the 2022-23 regular season with a knee injury and didn’t play in the first round of the 2023 playoffs against the Suns. Without George, the Clippers lost to the Suns in five games.

George signed a four-year, $176 million contract extension with the Clippers in December 2020. The six-time All-NBA swingman will make $45.6 million next season. He has a player option worth $48.8 million for the 2024-25 season.

Along with trading Payne, the Suns signed Bol Bol on July 16. Beal is expected to start at point guard next season, per Charania.

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