Deandre Ayton free agency rumours: Pacers nearing signing sign-and-trade agreement or extending offer sheet to Suns centre

As a restricted free agent, Ayton’s offer sheet may be matched by the Suns.

According to Brian Windhorst on Monday, the Indiana Pacers are allegedly extremely close to extending an offer sheet to former first-round choice Deandre Ayton or acquiring him through a sign-and-trade. Ayton is a restricted free agent, so if the Pacers extended an offer sheet to him, the Suns would have two days to counter it. Ayton is free to accept Indiana’s invitation to play in the next season if the Suns decide not to match the Pacers’ offer.

The Suns is in Trouble

The Suns would be in trouble if Ayton did accept the Pacers’ offer sheet. There were rumours Phoenix might try to utilise Ayton in a trade package to get Kevin Durant from the Brooklyn Nets, even though it was somewhat believed they wouldn’t bring Ayton back since the two sides couldn’t agree on what the big man was worth. Ayton won’t be able to be dealt until December 15 if he signs an offer sheet with the Pacers and the Suns match it. The Suns will have lost Ayton for nothing if they don’t counter Indiana’s offer, and their chances of trying to get Durant would be significantly reduced.

Windhorst said that Herb Simon, the team’s owner, dislikes offering contracts because it “hurts his fellow owners,” even if the Pacers are in a position to sign Ayton directly. That gives both parties the opportunity to explore a possible sign-and-trade.

Will the Suns Benefit from this Trade?

The Suns would benefit from a sign-and-trade since at least they wouldn’t lose Ayton for nothing. Although it’s uncertain what the Pacers would be prepared to part up in a sign-and-trade for Ayton, it would make sense to send Myles Turner to Phoenix. Both players have comparable skill levels, but Ayton has produced significantly more over his career than Turner has.

Even though no agreements have been formally announced as of yet, the Suns would have to make some difficult decisions concerning their centre if Ayton accepted an offer sheet from the Pacers. They have two options: match the offer sheet and keep him, or let him leave for free. Although it’s not ideal to lose Ayton for nothing, this is more about the Durant predicament than anything else. Ayton could be included in a trade transaction after Dec. 15 if the Suns decide to keep him, but that would be a hazardous game of chance to play if the Durant drama drags on into the season.

Shreyansh is passionate about working on challenging ideas and exploring the boundaries to pursue innovation. He is an engineering student pursuing Electronics and an NBA die hard fan. He has been following NBA since his childhood and basketball has been very close to him to get away from the noise.