Why would the Suns' trade Deandre Ayton to the rival Mavericks?
Moving Ayton is in part because of relationship issues that stemmed from him not getting a rookie max extension when eligible. Instead, the 6’11 big man became a restricted free agent last summer and signed a deal with the Pacers before the Suns matched. Ayton reportedly wants a fresh start, and it could be in the best interest of both sides.
Beyond that, Phoenix needs depth around Kevin Durant and Devin Booker. They were struggling to find options in the playoffs, and adding a couple of rotation-quality players would be massive. In this deal, they are hoping to get two for one. Tim Hardaway Jr. would immediately become a key floor spacer for the Suns, and the tenth overall pick could be moved in a trade or become another young talent to fit into their mix.
The Suns could also make this trade for chemistry and camaraderie reasons. The Ayton situation seems to have reached a boiling point, and things in the locker room might be better if he is in another city.
Phoenix could move on from both Chris Paul and Deandre Ayton this summer as they look to build a title contender around Durant and Booker. It would be surprising if this is the best offer they get for Ayton, but his contract will scare some teams off, especially with the stricter roster-building rules for teams over the second tax apron.
Why would the Dallas Mavericks make this trade?