NBA free agents can officially begin negotiations with teams at 3 p.m. Arizona time on Thursday.
Phoenix Suns center Deandre Ayton is a restricted free agentand as such, the Suns can match any offering for the big man.
They can also make a deal with another team for Ayton, or choose not to match an offer the center receives.
What will happen to Ayton in NBA free agency?
Here are some Suns center predictions from NBA writers from around the league.
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Bleacher report: Deandre Ayton will land with San Antonio Spurs
Greg Swartz writes: “The Detroit Pistons finishing with Jalen Duren should end Ayton’s chances of getting a maximum contract offer from Detroit. There is one other destination that could make sense for 2018’s No. 1 overall pick , and perhaps an even more poised to win than the Pistons.Ayton to the Spurs should be a real possibility.San Antonio can give Ayton the maximum contract he seeks (with about $32.6 million in cap space, according to Keith Smith of Spotrac) and has a potential need at the center with Jakob Poeltl entering the final year of his contract.It’s worth noting that the Spurs had three first rounds in the 2022 draft and refused to take a center with one of them. them, even with Poeltl’s contract situation. San Antonio singled out Baylor forward Jeremy Sochan with the No. 9 overall pick when Duren was still available. The Suns won’t let Ayton just walk away, though. hoenix should push Poeltl back in a sign-and-trade deal, including everything else it can get from the Spurs. A core of Dejounte Murray, Ayton, Keldon Johnson, Devin Vassell, Josh Primo, Sochan and Malaki Branham (selected at number 20 overall) should be in the Western playoff picture next season. The Pistons now have two young centers with rookie contracts to build around. The Spurs have none. Ayton will become a Spur and be the next big man to wear black and silver.”
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Basketball News: Suns match offer sheet, keeps Deandre Ayton
Evan Sidery writes: “ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski has said that during negotiations, the Suns did not consider Ayton a top-level player at the time, which surprised many NBA executives. Has Phoenix’s attitude changed after Ayton’s consistent performance over the years? This period “season and the playoffs” Here’s a little bit: According to a league source, Phoenix is more than comfortable to pay and go deep into the luxury tax, as long as his roster competes for championships.Ayton is part of that puzzle, and 2019 lottery Cameron Johnson is eligible for an extension this off-season. Do what you will with that information, but it would be really great to see Ayton play elsewhere in 2022-23.”
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Sports news: Toronto Raptors interesting option for Deandre Ayton
Scott Rafferty writes: “The Raptors are an interesting option for Ayton. They don’t have cap space like the Pistons, so their best hope of getting him would be in a sign-and-trade. It’s no secret that Toronto is looking is looking for a center, and Ayton has the versatility to play in Nick Nurse’s system.”
Bleacher report: Deandre Ayton will finish with Detroit Pistons
Zach Buckley writes: “Once Deandre Ayton got just 17 minutes of action in the biggest game of the season for the Phoenix Suns, it seemed like his days in the desert were numbered. While that might still be the case, it hardly sounds like the Suns are certainly poised to move forward with the 2018 top pick. ESPN’s Jonathan Givony reported that Phoenix has been researching the trading scenarios for the No. 8 pick and has considered “potentially including a player like Cameron Johnson to increase the flexibility of the salary cap.” to keep Deandre Ayton.” The Suns would be smart to keep Ayton close. He’s a walking double-double at age 23 and an impact player on both sides. However, it feels counterintuitive to have a major contributor like Johnson to do it Phoenix is having a minor tussle with Chris Paul at the helm and should use all his resources to maximize this opportunity. he’s the odd one out.”
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Bleacher report: Deandre Ayton goes to Indiana Pacers
Grant Hughes writes, “That said, sending Ayton to the Indiana Pacers would be relatively easy by sign-and-trade standards. And it turns out to be a possibility. Michael Scotto of Hoops Hype: “Private, some in the competition wondered if the Indiana Pacers would make sense for Ayton in a sign-and-trade with Myles Turner. Both players are represented by agent Bill Duffy of BDA Sports. Turner, arguably the league’s best shot blocker, would represent a defensive upgrade for the Suns entering a contract season.” use Turner’s stretch for offense and shot block for defense. The cynics who see the Ayton fiasco as evidence of the low price of the Suns, could also point to the face-saving benefits adding Turner to an expiring deal would compete with Turner in the middle of this season, avoiding the heat it would otherwise take to run Ayton, and then still have the option to let Turner’s contract expire. The Suns wouldn’t avoid a backlash forever in this hypothetical situation, but they would duck it for a year.”
Winners and whiners: Deandre Ayton will finish with Atlanta Hawks
It writes: “This is a bit more complicated because the Suns can match any offer. But apparently they don’t want the 24-year-old who averaged 17.2 points and 10.2 rebounds. The playoffs didn’t end well for the Suns and Ayton seemed to take much of the blame, the fact that he’s not a great defender or a top option without Chris Paul leading the charge is a concern, there’s no way he’s got anything close to it should get maximum from other teams but he probably will and Phoenix will either refuse or sign him and trade (John Collins?) with a team like Atlanta.”
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NBA analysis: Deandre Ayton leaves Suns via sign-and-trade
James Piercey writes: “Meanwhile, someone will offer Ayton some serious money. Despite all his limitations, he is still a physical force that offers quality rim run and rim protection. Teams that need a center will be ready to count on him as he expands his “play out as his career progresses. The Suns won’t be one of those teams. Look for them to get pennies on the dollar for Deandre Ayton in limited free choice.”
Bleacher report: Deandre Ayton stays with Phoenix Suns
Grant Hughes writes: “Last season’s deadlock was that the Suns chose not to pay more than they had to. Ayton is 23 years old, with a career average of 16.3 points and 10.5 rebounds per game. That’s not a player who voluntarily gives up a franchise Phoenix will either match another team’s four-year maximum bid or give Ayton a deal worth that much before he has a chance to test the market.”
More: ESPN’s Jalen Rose: Deandre Ayton Would Like to Say Goodbye to Phoenix Suns
CBS Sports: Can Deandre Ayton finish with Portland Trail Blazers?
Sam Quinn writes: “Keep an eye out for Portland too. Even after acquiring Grant, the Blazers can exert a bit of influence by forgoing Eric Bledsoe and swapping Josh Hart to free up cap space. Which also brings us to Another great restricted free agent Could Portland offer Anfernee Simons in a double sign and trade for Ayton? They have just lined up Shaedon Sharpe as a possible long-term replacement, and while many teams would probably prefer a contract for The teen on a rookie contract, Phoenix’s disinterest in potential would likely steer the Suns toward Simons, who averaged just 17.3 points per game in a breakout season, such a trade would rob Portland of its secondary scorer, but it would give Damian Lillard the pick-and-roll partner he needs and force Sharpe to play real minutes from the start.”
fan-shaped: Deandre Ayton will finish with Atlanta Hawks
Michael Saenz writes: “Deandre Ayton’s situation is definitely something to keep an eye on and frankly I don’t really have a clue how it will all turn out. However, there should be plenty of teams interested in potentially sparking curiosity. Ayton away from the Phoenix Suns And there is no evidence that the Suns would fight that hard If they value Ayton as many think they should he would already have a contract extension Instead he is expected to be out in a few One possible landing spot is the Atlanta Hawks and they could try to trade with John Collins that would fit well with Phoenix’s powerful attack Ayton gets his money and a new home while the Hawks and Collins are able to move on. to go from each other.”
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This article originally appeared on Arizona Republic: Deandre Ayton NBA free agency predictions for Phoenix Suns’ free agent