NBA Rumors Deandre Ayton Could Be Headed To Pacers

NBA Rumors: Deandre Ayton Could Be Headed To Pacers

Written by on July 12, 2022

Brooklyn’s Kevin Durant wants to be traded to the Phoenix Suns, but the biggest piece the Suns could send back in a sign-and-trade would be former No. 1 overall pick Deandre Ayton. Thing is, the Indiana Pacers could soon hugely complicate things by signing Ayton outright and then forcing Phoenix to decide whether it wants to match the offer or work a sign-and-trade with the Pacers instead, perhaps built around Indiana big man Myles Turner. Let’s take a look at the following analysis for your NBA Odds.

Deandre Ayton could be headed to Pacers for next NBA season

The Pacers had to complete the Malcolm Brogdon trade with the Boston Celtics before they could move onto a deal for Ayton. That trade was officially completed on Saturday. The Pacers are now within range of being able to sign Ayton to a max offer sheet, or to work a sign-and-trade with the Suns. This past season, Ayton averaged 17.2 points and 10.2 rebounds per game playing 29.5 minutes per contest. He led Phoenix to the NBA’s best record but the Suns never offered him a max extension and Ayton is thought to want out. The market for Ayton has been slower to develop than some might have expected considering the center’s production.

Indiana finished last season with a 25-57 record, trading Domantas Sabonis, Caris LeVert and others before the deadline. Dealing Brogdon further signals the team’s plans to start fresh and build around Tyrese Haliburton and first-round pick Bennedict Mathurin. Turner remains on the roster, although it’s seemingly only a matter of time before he is also dealt – perhaps for Ayton. The 26-year-old Turner, seven-year veteran is entering the final year of a deal that will pay him $18 million in 2022-23. He appeared in 42 games in 2021-22, averaging 12.9 points, 7.1 rebounds and 2.8 blocks.

Restricted free agents can sign an offer sheet with a different team. The deal must be for at least two years and the player’s current can match that offer within two days or allow him to go to the team that gave him the offer sheet. The most prominent restricted free agent to change teams this offseason is Jalen Brunson, the former Dallas Mavericks guard who signed with the New York Knicks for 4 years and $104 million.

Kyrie Irving Market Still Slow

It’s still possible that the Nets go to camp with both Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant on the roster. The Nets will not take low-ball offers for Durant and they really don’t have any trade options for Irving other than to the Los Angeles Lakers, but Brooklyn wants no part of Russell Westbrook’s contract in a swap. LeBron James reportedly is pressuring Lakers officials to bring Irving to LA.

Irving is a seven-time All-Star who hasn’t averaged fewer than 26.9 points in three seasons or shot worse than 46.9 percent in six. His 4.8 career offensive box plus/minus ranks 13th all-time, per Basketball Reference. He delivered one of the most clutch shots in NBA history while playing with James in Cleveland. Talent was never Irving’s issue – his off-the-court problems are.

The Lakers would need to attach draft picks and perhaps recruit a third team in the trade to make it work with Westbrook and his $47 million contract. Irving’s value has plummeted but he’s a smaller expiring contract ($37 million) with a higher upside.

The Nets reportedly reached out to Dallas about a possible Irving trade and the Mavs are thin at guard after losing Jalen Brunson in free agency to the Knicks, but apparently Dallas isn’t interested in Irving.

Durant, meanwhile is refusing to listen to recruiting pitches from other players around the league and other than occasional posts on Twitter, Durant isn’t in contact with anyone outside of his inner circle.  Most times when a player demands a trade, he is on a contract that is set to expire — or like Anthony Davis in New Orleans, is about to enter his walk year. This leaves the team with little leverage. If it doesn’t bend to the player’s will and at least recoup market value, the player will soon be in position to simply leave on his own. That is not the case with Durant, who is about to enter the first year of the four-year, $193.6 million contract extension he signed with the Nets last summer.


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