The bulls may be among Deandre Ayton’s trade suitors
The Phoenix Suns’ season ended on Thursday when the Denver Nuggets knocked them out of the playoffs. As a result, Deandre Ayton’s name is becoming more widely known in the trade.
Deandre Ayton is a 24-year-old former No. 1 choice whose career with the franchise has been rocky. After a strong performance against the Clippers in the first round of the playoffs (16.8 points and 11.2 rebounds). Ayton missed the series finale due to injured ribs, which summed up his Sun’s career, which has been marred by fits and starts.
One NBA GM told Sean Deveney of Heavy “It’s almost certain they will look into trading him. I think they feel like they can do all right with a mishmash of decent centers and changing their focus on getting better talent around those two-star guys. It is a tough market for trading centers, though. They are about to find that out. The team that might be the most interesting in getting into that mix is Chicago, and I’ve heard he’s on the list, at least. A lot still depends on the (draft) lottery.”
What's next for Deandre Ayton & @Suns? "Almost certain they will look into trading him," one exec tells @HeavyOnSports.
But where? @dallasmavs? Maybe but not for Kyrie.@hornets? @trailblazers? Maybe.
"Most interesting"? Exec says the @chicagobulls:https://t.co/aYJhT70hD5
— Sean Deveney (@SeanDeveney) May 12, 2023
The Bulls, of course, have a center in place—Nikola Vucevic, a free agent this summer who averaged 17.6 points, 11.2 rebounds, 52.4% shooting, and 3.2 assists last season. The obvious next step would be to re-sign him, but given the haul the Bulls offered Orlando to obtain Vucevic in 2021 (Wendell Carter Jr., a first-rounder used on Franz Wagner, and, most likely, a first-rounder this year), Chicago is hesitant to let him depart.
From the Bulls’ perspective, Nikola Vucevic is a free agent this summer, so pursuing Ayton makes too much sense. DeMar DeRozan, on the other hand, would almost certainly be a trade candidate if they were aiming for an Ayton deal.
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