Mondays are the slowest day of the week usually. The day seems like a drag as people come back to work after a nice weekend. However, this Monday was not close to being a drag in the world of basketball as the Brooklyn Nets took center stage for everyone to comment on their team.
Early reports on Monday analyzed how Kyrie Irving is pushing for a sign-and-trade to the Los Angeles Lakers, that the Nets had no interest in. As people thought Kyrie would walk and sign for $6 million with the Lakers, he accepted his $36 million player option with the Nets.
That turmoil was having an incidental effect on the trade odds for disgruntled Phoenix Suns center, Deandre Ayton. As the Nets looked to be headed down a surprising rebuild, the odds of Ayton being traded to the Nets fell from +4000 to +300 in an hour, with fans speculating that Ben Simmons may be the returning piece to Phoenix.
This odds movement is historic, and we saw something similar prior to the NBA Draft that saw Paolo Banchero suddenly become the odds-on-favorite to be drafted 1st overall after reports confirmed that it would be Jabari Smith Jr, that would go in that spot.
Ayton can't get paid enough to match the salaries of either Kyrie Irving or Kevin Durant, with the Nets seemingly buying time on keeping that duo together with Irving accepting the $36 million player option in his contract. Simmons is still on the rookie extension that Philadelphia gave him, so matching his contract with Ayton's extension would be easier.
This would be great for both teams, as Brooklyn can dump the uncertainty around Simmons for a center that is still young in Ayton. The Suns add a fantastic defensive player and secondary playmaker behind Chris Paul through Simmons, so there is some logic to the move. It will be interesting to see if the odds swing was because of the possibility of a Nets breakup or because this was an actual move in the works.