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) /
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Phoenix Suns, Deandre Ayton, Myles Turner
Phoenix Suns, Deandre Ayton, Myles Turner. Mandatory Credit: Kevin C. Cox/Pool Photo-USA TODAY Sports /

Phoenix Suns Deandre Ayton Trade to Indiana Pacers: Myles Turner Package

Swapping two frustrated big men to give them both new homes makes all the sense in the world, right? A deal involving Myles Turner and Ayton does seem more likely than anything else on rumor hill right now, but nothing remains set in stone especially with KD negotiations ongoing.

Ayton surely has a lot of bright spots even for a player clearly chosen too high at number one. Regardless, Turner and Ayton have the same kryptonite in being unable to defend well in isolation.

Against Dallas this past postseason, Ayton had little to no answer while guarding Luka Doncic out past the 3-point line. Every time Ayton tried to crowd Doncic, Luka Magic drove around him and attacked the basket. On the other hand, whenever Ayton traded some air space between him and Doncic for paint positioning, it opened the door for an easy triple.

While it seems reasonable to assume that Turner resembles the greater overall defender given his work anchoring one of best defenses from the 2020-21 season, he is not the center I had in mind to replace Ayton after watching Luka cook Phoenix earlier this summer.

As I helplessly watched my Suns drown in the offensive pressure applied by Ayton, I fantasized about a starting lineup including five players able to contain dribble drives. However, assembling such a unit is easier said than done.

If the Suns do settle for Turner though, his strengths might still cover up these shared weaknesses. Turner’s rim protection and overall effort remain top notch and promise to make up for some of his defensive lapses.

At the very least, his higher motor feels more likely to play in tune with Monty Williams’s coaching style, already solving the initial problem which has us in this situation to begin with.