Some predictions are easier to make than others.
It’s hard to imagine how Deandre Ayton and the Suns could move forward. Apparently, the team doesn’t feel that he’s worth max money. Unsurprisingly, Ayton does. That’s an irreconcilable conflict.
It’s fair to question why the Suns opted to draft him with the first overall pick in the first place. The league is moving rapidly away from traditional big men of his ilk. In selecting one and then declining to offer him a contract, these Suns badly misallocated resources.
Meanwhile, someone will offer Ayton some serious cash. For all of his limitations, he’s still a physical force who offers high-end rim running and rim protection. Teams in need of a center will be willing to bank on him expanding his game as his career progresses.
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The Suns will not be one of those teams. Look for them to receive pennies on the dollar for Deandre Ayton in restricted free agency.
Prediction: Deandre Ayton departs Phoenix via sign-and-trade.