This Hornets-Suns Trade Sends Deandre Ayton To Charlotte

Deandre Ayton, Phoenix Suns, Charlotte Hornets, NBA Trade Rumors
NBA Analysis Network

One NBA writer has proposed that the Phoenix Suns trade center Deandre Ayton to the Charlotte Hornets.

Grant Hughes of Bleacher Report is proposing that the Suns send Ayton to the Hornets for Gordon Hayward, Mark Williams, a 2023 first-round pick and a 2026 first-round pick.

“Why? Other than the $133 million offer sheet Phoenix matched to keep Ayton last summer, there haven’t been many outward expressions of satisfaction between the parties,” Hughes wrote. “Even that decision seemed more practical than enthusiastic.

“We’re sending him to the Hornets as a running mate for LaMelo Ball, getting Phoenix a replacement at the 5 and Hayward, a starting-caliber wing (if healthy) on an expiring deal.”

NBA NEWS & TRADE RUMORS: Deandre Ayton, Phoenix Suns & Charlotte Hornets Updates

Ayton would be “excited” about getting traded by the Suns this summer and gaining a fresh start somewhere, according to Tim MacMahon of ESPN. The Arizona product averaged 18.0 points and 10.0 rebounds during the regular season, but his numbers plunged in the postseason to 13.4 points and 9.7 rebounds.

The Suns are expected to aggressively explore the trade market for Ayton this offseason. The Hornets haven’t been mentioned as a suitor yet, but Hughes doesn’t think Phoenix would trade Ayton to Charlotte anyway.

“Who says no? Hayward is a major injury risk having played 50 or fewer games in each of the last three years, but he might have been Phoenix’s third-best (healthy) player if he’d been on the postseason roster. A career 36.9 percent three-point shooter who can pass and doesn’t need the ball to be effective, Hayward could help Phoenix,” Hughes wrote.

NBA NEWS & TRADE RUMORS: Deandre Ayton, Phoenix Suns & Charlotte Hornets Updates

“Ultimately, the Suns probably punt on this one first. They might be right to believe better offers will come for a former No. 1 overall pick who’s had to settle for third and fourth-option duties throughout his career. The upside is too great to take back an injury-prone wing and a high-end backup, even with draft assets attached.”

All signs point toward the Suns trading Ayton this summer. We’ll just have to wait and see where he ends up.

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About Ashish Mathur 2079 Articles
Ashish is an NBA writer for NBA Analysis Network. He has been featured on many publications, including, ClutchPoints, Sportscasting and Celtics Wire. You can follow Ashish on Twitter @amathur25.