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Atlanta Hawks' Interest In Deandre Ayton May Fizzle Out Due To Price Tag

Atlanta Hawks' Interest In Deandre Ayton May Fizzle Out Due To Price Tag

The free agency saga of Deandre Ayton may be one of the most important developments of the summer. The Phoenix Suns look almost certain to lose the 2018 1st overall pick due to management not wanting to give Ayton a max contract. So, if Ayton is leaving, the question is where will Ayton go next?

Many teams would be interested in a big man with the skill-set he has. In addition, Ayton is also still extremely young and has a lot of room to grow. The center is seeking a max contract that not many teams have been willing to offer, but many teams are interested in getting him on board for a discount.

The Atlanta Hawks reportedly have a strong interest in making a Trae Young-Deandre Ayton duo happen, but it seems Atlanta will not be interested in maxing out Ayton if that is the price he comes at. 

"The Hawks could still pursue Phoenix Suns center Deandre Ayton in free agency. Sources tell The Athletic that the Hawks’ interest in the 23-year-old would be contingent on landing him for less than a max contract. That may not be an option, as the Pistons, who have the cap space for a max contract, are expected to be aggressive in their pursuit of Ayton in free agency." (h/t Chris Kirschner, The Athletic)

Ayton seems to be between a rock and a hard place. His relationship in Phoenix has soured, but that is the best team that he can play next season. If nobody else offers him a max, leaving Phoenix may be a bad career decision. His relationship with the Suns' management seems too damaged for that to be a possibility now.

The Detroit Pistons seem like the only team left that is looking to give Ayton the max, but even they drafted a center in Jalen Duren to have a contingency and have reportedly cooled off on signing the Bahaman big man. It seems the summer may not be the one Ayton expected.