Restricted free agent since the first day of free agency, Deandre Ayton still does not know where he will play next season. The Suns don’t intend to retain him, but another team still needs to show up. It’s off to a good start, since the pivot should head east, barring an accident in the next few hours.
While Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving have monopolized attention since the beginning of this free agency, another star is currently available on the market: Deandre Ayton. Excellent with the Suns, the pivot will not be retained in Arizona. Although he is efficient and attractive in his role alongside Devin Booker and Chris Paul, the front office is convinced that they can easily find a player capable of the same contribution. Because restricted free agent this summer, the number 1 of his draft is waiting for his check today.
Mid-July is coming and Ayton still doesn’t know where he will play in the fall. The Suns are quietly waiting to see who will make an offer, to find out if negotiations for a sign-and-trade are possible. A way for the Pacers to save money, and for Phoenix to recover a little something. Indeed, losing the pivot against nothing would be a hell of a failure, whatever one may say. And obviously, it will be necessary to arrange with the Pacers.
Heading East for Deandre Ayton?
With the probable departure of Myles Turner, and why not a possible trade with the Suns, the Pacers want to rebuild in the East. Ayton would be a great deal in that regard, especially since the front office has the money to sign him. According to insider Brian Windhorst, who spoke on ESPN earlier today, Indiana should take action in the next few hours, via trade or simply by offering a contract to the kingpin.
“We believe that the Indiana Pacers are very close to giving Deandre Ayton an offer sheet or executing a sign-and-trade…We could see something with the Pacers and Ayton as early as today.” (via @WindhorstESPN) pic.twitter.com/6iKsfox82T
— The Trade Deadline (@_TradeDeadline) July 11, 2022
“We think the Indiana Pacers are very close to offering Deandre Ayton a contract, or executing a sign-and-trade… We could see something between the Pacers and Ayton today.
Remember that in the event of an offer, Ayton will still have to wait 48 hours after signing, since he is a restricted free agent. The Suns will technically have the right to match Indiana’s proposal in order to retain their player. However, everything suggests that this will not be the case. The Pacers therefore have a clear path to sign Ayton, it just remains to be seen how they will go about it.
Given recent rumors, it’s pretty much a given that Deandre Ayton will be a Pacer next year, presumably to take Myles Turner’s place. Simple offer on the market, or trade with the Suns? This is the only unknown. But for ESPN, we will be fixed this week.