Phoenix Suns Receive: C Nikola Vucevic, G Alex Caruso, 2023 First-Round Pick (POR via CHI)
Chicago Bulls Receive: C Deandre Ayton
We’ll get into the basketball-related reasons why this makes sense later. Unfortunately, every NBA trade isn’t exclusively informed by what happens on the basketball court.
Interpersonal relationships matter in this league as well. Teamwork is easier to facilitate between people who like each other, and between people who believe in the team as well.
For that matter, it’s easier to faciitate between people who feel like the team believes in them.
If Deandre Ayton doesn’t feel like the Suns believe in him, he could hardly be blamed. The organization certainly dragged its feet when it came to extending his rookie contract. If the Indiana Pacers hadn’t offered him a max extension, they might sell be negotiating a price.
Perhaps it’s all water under the bridge. On the other hand, this wasn’t the first time there were hints of discord between the Suns and Ayton.
LATEST NBA NEWS & TRADE RUMORS: Deandre Ayton, Phoenix Suns & Chicago Bulls Updates
When he hardly cracked the rotation in a critical Game 7 of the Western Conference Semifinals, personal reasons were cited. It’s clear that, however manageable they may be, there are some cracks in this relationship.
If it’s damaged enough for the Suns to move Ayton, is this the right return for him?