Mavs, Bulls Viewed as Possible Suitors of Suns’ Deandre Ayton

The Suns are expected to contemplate trading center Deandre Ayton this offseason, with the Mavericks and Bulls mentioned as possible suitors, per Sean Deveney of Ayton

Phoenix is coming off a second straight postseason collapse, getting blown out of elimination games at home, this time against the Nuggets. This one also comes after a February trade for star forward Kevin Durant.

Along with looking to possibly deal Ayton and perhaps point guard Chris Paul, the Suns could be making some changes to the front office and coaching staff, as we relayed here.

As for Ayton, the Bulls and Mavericks are both believed to be on the lookout for another pivot. The Bulls could move on from Nikola Vucevic this summer, while the Mavs are not expected to bring back big man Christian Wood.

“It’s almost certain they will look into trading him. I think they feel like they can do all right with a mishmash of decent centers and changing their focus on getting better talent around those two star guys,” one NBA GM told Deveney of Ayton. “That’s been true for the past couple of years, really. Deandre has butted heads with (Monty Williams). But he can be a great player, still, it just needs to be somewhere else.”

The GM added that much of what happens next is likely to depend on the 2023 NBA Draft Lottery, in which the Bulls and Mavs are both involved. The lottery is set for Tuesday night.

The Trail Blazers and Hornets, both looking for upgrades in the middle, could become potential suitors as well, Deveney wrote, citing sources.

As for the Mavs, point guard Kyrie Irving will be a free agent after arriving in a trade with the Nets in February. Durant was sent from Brooklyn to Phoenix shortly thereafter.

“I saw a sign-and-trade with Kyrie was talked about,” an opposing executive told Deveney. “Can you imagine going to Kevin Durant and saying, ‘Hey, we got you out of Brooklyn but we’re bringing in Kyrie!’

“I think you can say KD is not crazy about the idea of Kyrie on his team again. I can’t see that at all.”

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