A new trade proposal would see the Phoenix Suns trade Deandre Ayton for a $45 million star big man.
“A shaky center position in Dallas only gets worse as both Wood and Dwight Powell now become free agents. Getting Ayton, who was selected two picks ahead of Luka Doncic in 2018, would give the Mavs another franchise centerpiece who’s still only 24 and under contract for the next three seasons,” Swartz wrote. “Ayton put up 18.0 points, 10.0 rebounds and shot 58.9 percent overall this season and has become a solid defender who still carries some three-point shooting potential.
“Wood is capable of starting at power forward or center, giving Phoenix yet another offensive weapon to take the pressure off Devin Booker and Kevin Durant. McGee thrived during his previous stop with the Suns as a backup center and Green is a good, young 3-and-D piece to place between the stars.”
Wood becomes an unrestricted free agent this summer, so this trade would have to be a sign-and-trade deal. The 27-year-old has made over $45 million in his career. He averaged 16.6 points and 7.3 assists for the Mavericks this season while shooting 51.5% from the field, 37.6% from beyond the arc and 77.2% from the free-throw line in 67 games.
Christian Wood Is a More Diverse Scorer Than Deandre Ayton
Wood is a more diverse scorer than Ayton since he can shoot from the perimeter. For the Mavericks this season, Wood made 105 3-pointers. Meanwhile, Ayton only attempted 24 3s for the Suns and hit seven of them.
There would be more space on the floor for Kevin Durant and Devin Booker if Wood was on the team. Wood’s defender would have to leave the paint to guard him on the perimeter since the UNLV product is a threat to hit shots from out there.
If there’s no big in the paint, Durant and Booker have more driving lanes.
Deandre Ayton Would Be Excited About a Fresh Start With Another Franchise
According to Tim MacMahon of ESPN, Ayton would be excited about a fresh start with another franchise.
The Suns, who lost to the Denver Nuggets in the 2023 Western Conference Semifinals in six games, are expected to aggressively explore the trade market for Ayton this offseason.
“Sources told ESPN that Ayton’s teammates have shared their coach’s frustration with what they perceive to be inconsistent effort and aggression from the 7-footer,” MacMahon reported. “Ayton would be excited about a fresh start with another franchise, sources told ESPN. The Suns are expected to aggressively explore the trade market for him this summer, league sources said.”
Ayton averaged 18.0 points and 10.0 rebounds during the regular season, which are good numbers. However, his production dipped in the postseason to 13.4 points and 9.7 rebounds.
The former No. 1 overall pick 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 game.