KEY POINTS

  • Deandre Ayton is now expected to re-sign with the Suns this offseason
  • The Pistons had Ayton as a Plan B had they not succeeded in the 2022 NBA Draft
  • The Hawks and Spurs are still in the running for an Ayton offer

The most intriguing saga this offseason is Deandre Ayton potentially leaving the Phoenix Suns to find his fortunes elsewhere after he was not offered a max contract by the organization ahead of the last offseason.

This opened up a multitude of trade scenarios for the Suns' big man with fans and observers posting their best trade packages on social media.

However, the Detroit Pistons are now out of the running according to James Edwards III of The Athletic after they successfully pulled off the acquisitions of dynamic Purdue guard Jaden Ivey and athletic Memphis big man Jalen Duren during the 2022 NBA draft.

“While all signs have pointed to Detroit making a serious run at Phoenix’s Deandre Ayton over the last few days, that appears less likely after the Pistons walked away with two of the players highest on the organization’s big board,” he wrote.

“In all actuality, though, the events on Thursday signal the Ayton route being Plan B.”

Suns fans can breathe a sigh of relief even for a while since it looks like Ayton will not be moving to the Pistons anymore, as was the early projections during the offseason.

The threat of Ayton receiving a max offer from the Pistons is still very much on the table, but that threat is not as potent as it once was simply because of their activity in the draft.

Other than the Pistons, teams like the Atlanta Hawks and San Antonio Spurs are still believed to be in the running by most fans and are likely so until a report leaks out that they have pulled out of the race for the Bahamian big man.

Contrary to popular belief that the Suns will simply allow Ayton to walk in free agency, the Suns are likely to match any offer that he will be receiving since he is a restricted free agent and they cannot afford to lose a player of his caliber for nothing.

While Ayton has had subpar performances in his career thus far, his skillset and impact on the Suns’ newly found winning culture are way too vital to give up unless a superstar like the heavily rumored Kevin Durant does make himself available for a trade.

This offseason looks to be the most important one in the Suns’ recent history, and it all begins and ends with how the Ayton situation unfolds.

Deandre Ayton, Phoenix Suns
Deandre Ayton #22 of the Phoenix Suns slam dunks against the Dallas Mavericks during the second half of Game Two of the Western Conference Second Round NBA Playoffs at Footprint Center on May 04, 2022 in Phoenix, Arizona. The Suns defeated the Mavericks 129-109. Christian Petersen/Getty Images
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