Phoenix Suns center Deandre Ayton is one of the rising superstars who could change teams in the 2022 NBA offseason. As a restricted free agent, the only thing that the Suns need to do to bring Ayton back is to match offers from other NBA teams. The Suns may remain optimistic that Ayton would return next season but as of now, it remains a big question mark if they are willing to give the former No. 1 pick a max contract.
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Deandre Ayton To Bucks
If they fail to reach an agreement regarding a new contract, Ayton is expected to explore other options in the 2022 NBA free agency. One of the dark-horse landing spots for Ayton this summer is the Milwaukee Bucks. In a recent article, James Piercey of NBA Analysis Network came up with a hypothetical three-team blockbuster trade idea that would send Ayton to Milwaukee.
In the proposed trade scenario, the Bucks would acquire Ayton via a sign-and-trade deal, the Suns would receive Clint Capela and De'Andre Hunter, and the Atlanta Hawks would land Jrue Holiday.
Bucks Get A Major Frontcourt Boost
So far, there's no indication that the Bucks are planning to pursue Ayton in the upcoming free agency. Targeting the former No. 1 pick would only make sense if the Bucks see the need for an upgrade at the starting center position. As Piercey noted, pairing Giannis Antetokounmpo with Ayton would give the Bucks the "most physically imposing frontcourt" in the 2022-23 NBA season.
Ayton may not be a floor spacer, but he's a very reliable scoring option under the basket, a monster rebounder, and a great defender. This season, he averaged 17.2 points and 10.2 rebounds while shooting 63.4 percent from the field.
Suns Add Cheaper Center & Young Wingman
The proposed three-team trade would be worth exploring for the Suns, especially if they don't want to overpay Ayton in the 2022 NBA free agency. Instead of losing Ayton as a free agent without getting anything in return, the suggested deal would enable them to replace him with a cheaper, starting-caliber center in Capela while adding a young three-and-D wingman in Hunter.
Capela may not be an All-Star, but he offers a similar skillset as Ayton. Meanwhile, though he still has plenty of things that he needs to improve in his game, Hunter could lessen the load on Devin Booker's shoulders in terms of scoring and spacing the floor.
Hawks Pair Trae Young With A Veteran PG
For the Hawks, the suggested three-team blockbuster deal would enable them to hit two birds with one stone. Aside from addressing the logjam in their frontcourt, the Hawks would be pairing Young with a veteran point guard with championship experience in Holiday.
"The Hawks could use an elite defensive guard to put alongside Young," Piercey wrote. "That’s exactly what they’re getting here. Jrue Holiday is one of the best point of attack defenders in the NBA. He’d offset Young’s limitations on that end of the floor, while still providing plenty of value on offense."