The Phoenix Suns season is over after a humiliating defeat on their home floor. The tune is a bit different this time, though, as the all-in push for Kevin Durant was expected to help get them back over the hump. While Durant and Devin Booker will have a few more years to figure things out together, Deandre Ayton will likely not be there.
In the second round against the Denver Nuggets, Ayton got benched for Jock Landale and sat out the elimination game with a painful core injury. Ayton’s time with the Suns continued despite a rocky end to last season and a contract dispute that almost saw Ayton go to the Indiana Pacers. Now, both sides would be happy with a split and Phoenix is expected to pursue it via trade, according to Tim MacMahon of ESPN.
“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. Ayton would be excited about a fresh start with another franchise, sources told ESPN,” MacMahon writes. “The Suns are expected to aggressively explore the trade market for him this summer, league sources said.”
MacMahon adds that several teams are expected to be interested in Deandre Ayton. Despite his misadventures in the playoffs, the soon-to-be 25-year-old big man could help a lot of teams with his post scoring and rebounding. The Pacers could very well pursue him again, as could teams that need talent like the Dallas Mavericks or Portland Trail Blazers and rebuilding squads like the San Antonio Spurs.
The Suns can’t waste too much time trying to find the right supporting cast for Booker and Durant. Ayton has now shown twice he can’t be relied on to be a major playoff contributor. Phoenix has to find the right trade that sends him elsewhere and nets them a player(s) they can use to compete.
Durant and Booker would benefit from playing with a center somewhat like Ayton — one that can protect the rim and finish lobs. The Suns’ offseason is sure to be a busy one as they try to get back to contender status.
The post RUMOR: Deandre Ayton’s feelings on possible trade amid Suns teammates’ frustrations appeared first on ClutchPoints.