Proposed Trade Lands Suns $233 Million All-Star for Deandre Ayton

Suns center Deandre Ayton

Getty Suns center Deandre Ayton

The Phoenix Suns have been urged to make a blockbuster trade this offseason involving Deandre Ayton.

In a May 6 column called “Star-for-Star Offseason NBA Trades That Make Too Much Sense,” Zach Buckley of Bleacher Report proposed that the Suns trade Ayton to the Dallas Mavericks for Kyrie Irving, who becomes an unrestricted free agent this summer.

“The Dallas Mavericks and Phoenix Suns seemingly both head into this offseason short on options. Dallas and Phoenix could create some flexibility together, though, by brokering a sign-and-trade of Kyrie Irving for Deandre Ayton,” Buckley wrote. “Let’s start with the Suns, who have a pair of generational scorers in Kevin Durant and Devin Booker but very little firepower beyond them. Ayton sometimes fills that void, but there is zero reliability with his scoring or even his involvement. Chris Paul remains an expert connector, but he has never been less threatening on the offensive end (career lows in points, offensive box plus/minus and offensive win shares).

“Adding Irving would give them the third shot-creator who could launch this offense into unguardable territory. There is no right way to defend an attack with Irving, Durant and Booker. Each is a headache to handle in isolations, but they’d be nightmarish when linking up on pick plays for one another.”

Irving, who played with Suns superstar Kevin Durant on the Brooklyn Nets, has made over $232 million in his career. The eight-time All-Star averaged 27.1 points, 5.1 rebounds and 5.5 assists in 2022-23 with the Nets and Mavericks while shooting 49.4% from the field, 37.9% from beyond the arc and 90.5% from the free-throw line.

Kyrie Irving Has Been Linked to the Suns; Deandre Ayton Linked to the Mavericks

Irving has been linked to the Suns in the past. Phoenix approached Brooklyn about trading for Irving after the Duke product requested a trade from the Nets, according to a February 14 report from Jake Fischer of Yahoo Sports. Marc Stein of Substack also reported on March 20 that the Suns have been frequently mentioned as suitors for Irving.

Meanwhile, Ayton has been connected to the Mavericks. Tim Cato of The Athletic wrote on May 1 that Ayton has been “floated” as a trade possibility for Dallas. The former No. 1 overall pick doesn’t have a good relationship with Suns head coach Monty Williams, sources told Heavy Sports, so he could be moved this offseason.

Ayton attempted to leave the Suns last summer by signing a four-year, $132.9 million offer sheet with the Indiana Pacers in restricted free agency. However, Phoenix matched Indiana’s offer sheet.

Suns Analyst Thinks Kyrie Irving for Deandre Ayton Could Happen

Arizona Sports’ John Gambadoro thinks the Mavericks and Suns could pull off an Irving for Ayton trade this summer. Gambadoro said Durant “loves” Irving.

“I would not rule out a Kyrie Irving for Deandre Ayton trade in the offseason,” Gambadoro said, via SI. “I’m telling you, I think that there’s a possibility. KD loves Kyrie. I don’t think the Luka, Kyrie thing worked out … There’s only like three teams with cap space, so it’s gonna have to be a sign-and-trade.”

If the Suns acquire Irving, they will likely have to part ways with Chris Paul, who has a partially guaranteed contract for next season.

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