A new blockbuster trade proposal has the Phoenix Suns acquiring three players for Deandre Ayton.
Lee Tran of Fadeaway World proposed that the Suns trade Ayton to the Dallas Mavericks for Tim Hardaway Jr., JaVale McGee and Christian Wood. This would be a sign-and-trade deal since Wood is an unrestricted free agent.
“The Mavericks would be able to increase the team’s overall talent level and add a starting-quality center,” Tran wrote. “Ayton is a perfect fit with the team’s stars and could flourish in a franchise where he is more of a focal point. Meanwhile, the Suns would be able to add some quality depth and improve their rotation. Having good role players is one of the keys to success in the modern-day league, and this deal would get the Suns those role players.”
Ayton averaged 18.0 points, 10.0 rebounds and 1.7 assists last season for the Suns while shooting 58.9% from the field and 76.0% from the free-throw line. The Arizona product recorded 36 double-doubles in 67 games.
Wood appeared in 67 games for the Mavericks last season. He averaged 16.6 points, 7.3 rebounds and 1.8 assists while shooting 51.5% from the floor, 37.6% from 3 and 77.2% from the free-throw line.
Hardaway Jr. averaged 14.4 points, 3.5 rebounds and 1.8 assists last season for the Mavericks in 71 games while shooting 40.1% overall, 38.5% from 3-point land and 77.0% from the free-throw line.
Finally, McGee averaged 4.4 points and 2.5 rebounds for the Mavericks last season in 42 games while shooting 64.0% from the field. He played for the Suns in 2021-22.
Major Reason Revealed for Why Suns Haven’t Traded Deandre Ayton Yet
The Suns haven’t traded Ayton because “there is no viable trade right now turning Ayton into the kinds of players (or picks) that would maintain or boost the Suns’ title odds,” according to Zach Lowe of ESPN.
“The Suns’ top priority — from Ishbia to Ayton and down to the 15th man — should be doing whatever it takes to repair their relationship with Ayton, to lift him back up,” Lowe wrote. “The Suns’ likely path toward a good-enough defense is switching a ton across the perimeter while keeping Ayton closer to the paint as the last line.”
Ayton didn’t have a positive relationship with former Suns head coach Monty Williams. Phoenix’s front office feels new head coach Frank Vogel will be able to connect with Ayton better than Williams did and help the Nassau native be more engaged on both ends of the court on a more consistent basis next season.
Deandre Ayton Admits He Can ‘Feel the Whole World Hating’ Him
Ayton told Eyewitness News Bahamas in July, “I can feel the whole world hating me in a way. I’m the guy a lot of people point at and I see it and feel it, but mainly what I’ve been working on five to six days a week since we’ve lost is just motivating myself to change the narrative of what people think about me.
“No matter how you put it, I feel like I have no fans out there and I can feel it because the whole world is saying it. My goal is over the summer is to change the narrative. Just unlock whatever it is and just completely just focus on me and change the whole thing.”
Ayton’s level of play declined in the 2023 playoffs. The big man averaged 13.4 points and 9.7 rebounds in 10 games against the Los Angeles Clippers and Denver Nuggets. Ayton put up 10.8 points and 8.2 rebounds per game in the Nuggets series and didn’t register a positive plus-minus rating in any contest.
The Suns lost to the Nuggets in the conference semifinals in six games. Ayton didn’t play in Game 6 due to a rib contusion he suffered in Game 5 and was heavily criticized by Phoenix fans.