As the NBA world waits out the Kevin Durant sweepstakes, the Phoenix Suns are considering the future of their young star big man, Deandre Ayton.
The 23-year-old center, who was drafted 1st overall in the 2018 draft, is widely believed to be moving on from Phoenix this summer after contract negotiations fell apart.
According to ESPN's Brian Windhorst, the Indiana Pacers have emerged as a serious candidate to sign Ayton and could offer Myles Turner to the Suns as part of a lucrative sign-and-trade deal.
“Myles Turner is—he could be traded in a sign-and-trade for [Deandre] Ayton to Phoenix, or I’ve been told he could go somewhere else….There’s a good chance he’s not going to be a Pacer next year.”
Myles isn't as young or as good as Ayton, but he could prove valuable as a strong and athletic big man who scores down low and protects the rim. Through 42 games with the Pacers this season, he averaged 12.9 points, 7.1 rebounds, and 2.8 blocks per game on 50% shooting. Alongside Devin Booker and Chris Paul in Phoenix, he could really thrive.
Meanwhile, for the Pacers, the addition of Ayton could make for a nice pairing next to Tyrese Haliburton, Jalen Smith, and Buddy Hield. With Indiana all-in on developing their young talent, a young big with star potential makes for a pretty ideal fit.
The question is, what will the Suns do with Ayton if Durant stays in Brooklyn? As a restricted free agent, Phoenix could simply keep him around by matching any offer sheet that comes his way.
But with Deandre thirsty for the bag, it seems unlikely he will reach a resolution with Phoenix. In truth, a swap involving Ayton and Turner might be the best way to satisfy everybody involved.