As the Phoenix Suns head into the offseason, one of the bigger questions that plague this team centers around what the next step is for Deandre Ayton. It seemed that the team was going to move on from Ayton during last offseason but they instead decided to match an offer sheet that he signed with the Indiana Pacers.
But that didn’t solve the problem. Ayton still leaves much to be desired overall and very well might’ve played his final game in a Suns uniform.
It seems that every time the Suns have needed Ayton to step up in a big moment in the playoffs, he hasn’t. And that’s been a big issue for a Suns team that has been close to winning a title in each of the last few seasons. After this most recent playoff loss, it’s clear that something has to change.
Under the assumption that the Suns aren’t going to trade Kevin Durant or Devin Booker (and they probably couldn’t trade Chris Paul for equal value if they tried), Ayton is likely the best trade chip that Phoenix could dangle on the trade market during the offseason.
If the Suns are all-in on winning a championship next season, there’s a strong argument to be made that Ayton shouldn’t be back.