Deandre Ayton was one of the members of the 2018 NBA draft class that did not end up agreeing to an extension from his rookie contract. Other elite players from that class such as Luka Doncic and Trae Young have already been locked in by their franchises.
As a result of the Phoenix Suns' failed talks with Deandre Ayton, it is possible that he could get traded. An executive mused that the Suns would have to consider "making a move sooner than later" if the situation doesn't change.
“The Suns still have a lot of the leverage in this," one general manager told Heavy.com "But if they really don’t think the situation is going to change, then yeah, they’d have to consider maybe making a move sooner than later.”
If the two choices are losing Deandre Ayton in free agency and getting something in return, it makes sense to try and work out a deal with another franchise. Here, we examine a potential trade that would send him to the Golden State Warriors.
Golden State Warriors Receive: Deandre Ayton
Phoenix Suns Receive: Jordan Poole, James Wiseman, Moses Moody, 2022 first-round pick, 2026 first-round pick
The Phoenix Suns Would Get Some Young Talent And Draft Compensation
James Wiseman is the No. 2 pick from the 2020 NBA draft class, and he would be viewed as a natural replacement for Ayton due to them playing the same position. Obviously, Wiseman isn't as good as Ayton, but despite an inconsistent rookie year, there were some positive flashes. In particular, James Wiseman has shown traces of shooting touch and insane athleticism near the rim.
To make up for the difference in ability between Wiseman and Ayton, the Golden State Warriors would likely have to send some other players. Jordan Poole is a solid shot creator with a smooth handle that could be a great scorer coming off the bench for the Suns. He's had a good preseason, though has been inconsistent thus far in the regular season. He's still young, so there's potential that he could improve down the line as well.
Moses Moody was touted as an NBA-ready rookie when he got drafted, and he could potentially be a solid 3 and D player if given the opportunity. The two picks would be of lower value, as the Golden State Warriors will likely be able to be competitive for a while with the addition of Ayton. However, those picks would allow the Suns to potentially draft win-now contributors late in the draft, older college players who could fill roles. They could also flip those picks in a separate trade as well. Overall, a package featuring some talented young players and draft compensation seems like a fair exchange for Deandre Ayton.
The Golden State Warriors Go Back To Being A Superteam
The Golden State Warriors will be without Klay Thompson until Christmas, and adding Deandre Ayton would provide the team with some interior defense and rim protection, both areas that the Warriors could improve in. Ayton being a lob threat would also be beneficial to their offense, and could push it to the next level. With Stephen Curry on the court, Ayton would get a lot of easy attempts at the rim.
During their dynasty years, the Golden State Warriors have never had a center that is of Ayton's caliber. Obviously, Ayton isn't an All-Star level player yet, but he was a former No. 1 pick, and his ability suggests that he could get there one day. With Ayton, the Golden State Warriors would be a superteam.
A starting lineup featuring Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Andrew Wiggins, Draymond Green, and Deandre Ayton would be able to beat any team in the league on a given night. They would be potent on both ends of the floor. Ayton has shown that he can anchor a Finals-caliber defense, and he and Draymond Green would wreak havoc on opponents at the rim.
Obviously, there's no indication that the situation in Phoenix is bad enough for Deandre Ayton to be traded. But if that scenario does happen, the Golden State Warriors should definitely try to get themselves into the trade talks.