The relationship between Deandre Ayton and the Phoenix Suns became strained last summer when the team failed to offer him a max contract extension.
From that point on, the divide only grew.
By season’s end Ayton was publicly beefing with his head coach and signaling that his time in Phoenix was coming an end. The Suns, similarly, weren’t showing much interest in retaining him.
With Ayton clearly on the outs, the obvious question on everyone’s mind has been: where is he going to go?
According to Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report, the Toronto Raptors, Detroit Pistons, Atlanta Hawks and Indiana Pacers seem like the most legit landing spots for him at the moment. Each team has pros and cons as far as fit, but all make sense to some degree.
“Ayton’s most realistic landing spots outside of Phoenix appear to be Atlanta, Detroit and Toronto, which all would present intriguing sign-and-trade opportunities for the Suns,” he wrote.
“League personnel have also whispered in recent days about a potential sign-and-trade of Ayton to Indiana for Myles Turner. Turner and Ayton share the same representation.”
If none of those teams step up to the plate, there are at least two others who have shown an interest in Ayton in some capacity.
The team itself, meanwhile, has been similarly open regarding why they don’t view Ayton as a max player.
It just feels like it is legitimately time for all parties involved to move on. Sometimes change is necessary.
The photos speak for themselves.https://t.co/MLz9cXzKjM
— Game 7 (@game7__) June 18, 2022
And that is precisely what is happening here.
Where will Ayton ultimately land when it is all said and done?
Time will tell.
Jennifer Withers Hoey is a former Business Development Manager who transitioned to writing about sports. With valuable connections all over the West Coast, she has used those contacts to break some of the most interesting stories pertaining to the Portland Trail Blazers, Oregon Ducks, LA Lakers, LA Clippers, Seattle Supersonics (RIP), and more.