C NBA Free agency opens at 18:00 ET on June 30, the best big man available is Deandre Ayton from Phoenix Suns. Although no franchise has had more wins in the last 700 days, it looks like they are ready to move on from the best selection of the 2018 NBA Draft.
How did we get here?
Simply put, Ayton wants a maximum contract. After failing to give him a rookie extension in 2021, it is clear that the Suns do not see him as a player at the maximum level. That’s why this Thursday he becomes a limited free agent and gamblers everywhere are wondering where the next one will end up.
The 6-foot-tall center with 11 and 250 pounds averaged 17.2 points and 10.2 rebounds in 63 percent shooting while in the middle of the hot Suns on the road to the season with 64 wins, a year after qualifying for the NBA Finals. With his pick-and-roll skills and defensive kicks, one would think this is a recipe for long-term success. So why doesn’t his strong play lead to a guaranteed maximum contract?
Well, for starters, Ayton lacks the ability to create punches. Unlike his idol, Hakeem Olajuwon, you can’t throw the ball at him and expect your offensive sets to run smoothly. He also has trouble reading defenses and finding open teammates, all too often focused solely on the basket. In addition, in defense, while it’s great at stopping the roller when the screen is operating and protecting the beam, it’s a bit flat-footed and has trouble keeping fast guards on switches. Despite Ayton’s reputation as a stopper in defense, he doesn’t get many blocks and thefts – on average less than one in every game.
After all, it seems that Phoenix does not want to give maximum money to a big man who is not elite offensively (e.g. Joel Embiid or Nikola Jokic) or in defense (e.g., Rudy Gober). Now you can understand why a 23-year-old double machine with a wingspan of 7 feet 5 may be in another team next season.
To get some idea on the subject, we turned to FOX Bet for hypothetical odds for the teams that will most likely have the services of Deandre Ayton for the opening day of the 2022-2023 season in the NBA.
DEANDRE AYTON NEXT TEAM COEFFICIENT *
Detroit Pistons: +150 (bet $ 10 to win $ 25 total)
Phoenix Suns: +200 (bet $ 10 to win $ 30 total)
Indiana Pacers: +700 (bet $ 10 to win $ 80 total)
Charlotte Hornets: +800 (bet $ 10 to win $ 90 total)
San Antonio Spurs: +1000 (bet $ 10 to win $ 110 total)
New York Knicks: +1200 (bet $ 10 to win $ 130 total)
Washington Wizards: +1200 (bet $ 10 to win $ 130 total)
* coefficients as of 29.06.2022
At +150, the Detroit Pistons are the favorites to catch Ayton from the Suns. Currently in complete renovation, the fit with the Pistons looks perfect, at least on paper. They have just selected Jaden Ivey in the 2022 draft to join the talented young core of Cade Cunningham,, Sadik Bay and Marvin Bagley. Adding Deandre to this team may not provide immediate benefits, but if that core blossoms, the Pistons may be on the verge of holding another championship parade on the streets of Motown in a few years.
Deandre Ayton is expected to leave the Suns this off-season I THE HERD
The Phoenix Suns had a disappointing season with an early elimination in the playoffs after losing to the Dallas Mavericks in the Western Conference semifinals. There have been reports that Deandre Ayton is likely to leave the Suns this offseason. Ayton and Suns had disputes over contracts before the season, and another report says he clashed with head coach Monty Williams on their way out of the playoffs. Colin Cowhard explains why it’s time for the Suns to retire from the former number one.
The Suns (+200) are Ayton’s second favorite, mostly because as a limited free agent they have the opportunity to respond to any offer they receive. However, compliance with the offer, which he signed elsewhere, could only serve to further destroy the shaky relationship between Ayton and Suns. It is worth repeating that Phoenix has had great success in the last 23 months (returning to the balloon in Orlando). Would they really allow the talented center they chose instead of Trey Young and Luka Doncic to shoot?
If you follow, Ayton is only the second number 1 to reach a limited free agency – Greg Auden is the other.
A long-term team that makes sense is Charlotte Hornets (+800). Faced with a decision by one of their own restricted free agents, Miles Bridgescould they fight for one of the best young players in the NBA?
“Ayton is a good bet on value to match Michael Jordan’s Hornets next season,” said FOX Bet sports retailer Time Vesselink. “Hornets desperately need a good internal presence to compete with the best teams in the East, and Ayton’s age also goes well with their core, led by LaMelo Ball“
Wesselink points out a good idea, Ayton’s offensive flaws would not be as big a problem for a striker as LaMelo Ball. The big man will have ample opportunity to destroy the rim from this end as he controls the paint and makes exit passes to Ball on the other side. Maybe the change in the decor is all that is needed for the former best choice to reach its full potential.
Anything can happen in the Association! Ayton’s next move will certainly be big, so watch which team is responsible for the next one.
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