Perhaps the Suns don’t think he’s worth a max player agreement. There are cracks in his connections with his colleagues and coaches. After all, he has made sacrifices in his position in recent years. John Hollinger from ‘The Athletic’ has gone more into the situation and suspected Ayton is on his road out from Phoenix. John Hollinger has served in the front office of the Memphis Grizzlies.
The Phoenix front office, led by James Jones, has done a fantastic job of managing such issues in-house. According to the general manager, Ayton is well-liked within the company.
General Manager told Arizona Sports’ Burns and Gambo a few weeks ago:
“Deandre had an amazing season and he’s progressed every year and improved every year.”
He further added:
“He’s been here and so he’s a big part of what we do. His future with us is something we will address at the proper time, which is in the future. He’s a free agent and I’ve said all along, that he’s about the same things we’re about, which is winning. We’ll address it at the proper time.”
There are understandable reasons for Jones to support Ayton as a Sun with such high worth. As a limited free agent, Ayton may be a sign-and-trade possibility, helping Phoenix to regain some value from his departure. The pistons are a rumored landing option for Ayton.
They have a talented group, highlighted by Cade Cunningham, the No. 1 choice last year, who could benefit from playing next to a skilled center. The Pistons also have the financial freedom to sign Ayton to a max contract, and they have one of the most fascinating players who may be the key return component the Suns are interested in.
Jerami Grant, a ball-moving power forward who could fit into the Suns’ offense, is a prospective trade piece. Grant’s involvement with the Pistons over the last two years has seen him transition from a vital role player with the Oklahoma City Thunder and Denver Nuggets to a major scorer.
In 47 games last season, he averaged 19.2 points, 4.1 rebounds, and 2.4 assists while shooting 43 percent from the field and 36 percent from three.