3 Ways the Phoenix Suns Can Trade Deandre Ayton to the Indiana Pacers

Phoenix Suns, Deandre Ayton (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)
Phoenix Suns, Deandre Ayton (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images) /
1 of 4

It’s not everyday that you cast out your line while using a former first overall pick as bait, but that’s exactly what the Phoenix Suns have for the past two weeks. With restricted free agent Deandre Ayton and his current team at odds with each other, a divorce between both parties feels inevitable.

According to reports, head coach Monty Williams grew frustrated with Ayton’s lack of focus this past season. Ayton played only 17 minutes during Phoenix’s Game 7 defeat against the Dallas Mavericks, putting something of a rotten cherry on top of this overall sour situation.

But regardless of how the Suns found themselves in this predicament, it is obvious that they have to move on from DA, and a sign-and-trade deal represents the best way for them to do so.

However, Ayton’s market dried up after the NBA Draft. Most notably, the Detroit Pistons pulled out as suitors once selecting Jalen Duren. However, one team has yet to leave the auction house—the Indiana Pacers.

A variety of trade options now exist at Phoenix’s disposal regarding Ayton and the Pacers, but zeroing in on the most advantageous one promises to be a significant challenge.

Obviously, Ayton resembles a solid trade piece for the Suns amidst their pursuit of Kevin Durant. However, I think Phoenix has much more leverage in their situation with Ayton compared to Brooklyn with Durant. Unlike the Nets, the Suns can trade Ayton to whichever team they feel offers the best return while Durant wants to hand pick his next home.

Keeping that in mind, Phoenix’s top trade packages for Ayton from the Pacers should be centered around the following three players.