NBA Rumors: New Team Enters Deandre Ayton Sweepstakes

The rumblings are out there: It's unlikely that Deandre Ayton returns to the Phoenix Suns next season. The disgruntled restricted free agent wants the max, and the Suns are not inclined to give it to him. Several teams have been linked to Ayton in recent days, and now we can add one more, according to Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report:

Atlanta is definitely another team that I’ve heard for Ayton. There’s one person I talked to pretty consistently who’s like convinced Ayton is the guy that Atlanta wants.

The Atlanta Hawks are desperate to land another star to pair with Trae Young. Ayton averaged 17.2 points last season, with 10.2 rebounds, and is a load to deal with under the basket. But creating his own shot is not his forte, nor is protecting the rim on defense. 

As it's not very likely that the Suns let Ayton walk for nothing, the expectation is that they will work out a sign-and-trade with any team willing to offer him the max extension. 

While Phoenix can offer Ayton 4 years, $177M, other teams can pony up an offer of 4 years, $131M. Plus whatever the Suns can extract in a sign-and-trade. 

Four other teams were rumored to have Ayton on their radar as well.

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