James Jones on Deandre Ayton: He remains a big part of what we do

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Gerald Bourguet: James Jones said his stance on Deandre Ayton has not changed. The Suns haven’t said anything differently. “DA remains a big part of what we do and he’s a free agent, so we’ll talk about free agency when the time comes.”
Source: Twitter @GeraldBourguet

What’s the buzz on Twitter?

Duane Rankin @DuaneRankin
“There are a number of guys that we targeted. Just the deals that we had, they didn’t come together.” #Suns GM James Jones when asked about trying to acquire a pick in #NBADraft2022 via trade. – 12:55 AM

Kellan Olson @KellanOlson
On the ESPN article that came out this week, James Jones clarified that the Suns’ board for drafts is broken down into tiers. That group of 8-10 guys are the high-level fits. From there, it’s different degrees of how a player fits. They have every player on their board. – 12:47 AM

Gerald Bourguet @GeraldBourguet
James Jones on the ESPN draft article: “We have every player that’s in the draft processed on our board.”
Said it comes down to the combination of fit, skill-set, need and it comes down to 10 or so guys on their board, with those players being grouped into tiers – 12:47 AM

Gerald Bourguet @GeraldBourguet
“We lost Game 7. They beat us. Everybody’s dealing with something in the playoffs…we don’t make any excuses for what happened in the past.” – James Jones on the report the Suns were dealing with COVID in the playoffs – 12:42 AM

Duane Rankin @DuaneRankin
“DA is a big part of what we do.”
#Suns GM James Jones about Deandre Ayton, a restricted free agent.
“This team is a really good team and we’re going to keep it together.” – 12:41 AM

Gerald Bourguet @GeraldBourguet
James Jones said his stance on Deandre Ayton has not changed. The Suns haven’t said anything differently.
“DA remains a big part of what we do and he’s a free agent, so we’ll talk about free agency when the time comes.” – 12:41 AM

Kellan Olson @KellanOlson
James Jones said nothing has changed when it comes to his stance about Deandre Ayton since exit interviews. Huge part of their team and free agency is something they will talk about when the time comes. – 12:41 AM

Kellan Olson @KellanOlson
James Jones said there were a number of guys the Suns targeted but the deals didn’t come together. He thought there was some quality depth to this draft but the trades didn’t materialize. – 12:38 AM

Gerald Bourguet @GeraldBourguet
James Jones said there were a number of guys that the Suns targeted, but “the deals that we had didn’t come together.” – 12:37 AM

Gerald Bourguet @GeraldBourguet
I’m just picturing James Jones watching Hustle thinking “Man, this is some bullshit.”
These are the thoughts that have been marinating in my head during this draft – 12:17 AM

Rob Perez @WorldWideWob
Radio Roulette is LIVE @UnderdogFantasy
Packed show tonight…
– Making sense of the Knicks trade
– Kyrie saga + potential fallout
– What now with Ayton?
– Pacers now 1st Team All League Pass
– Giving away $100 to 5 contestants
– Fan calls
Join us!⬇️
youtube.com/watch?v=93BURw…11:47 PM

Kellan Olson @KellanOlson
(We are set to hear from GM James Jones at the end of the draft) – 11:31 PM

James Edwards III @JLEdwardsIII
DET obviously could still pursue Ayton given their cap space, but I get the sense the draft went so well in their favor (they didn’t expect ivey at 5) that they could role with the youngsters and seek veteran assistance in free agency. Troy has said many times no skipping steps. – 10:39 PM

Kellan Olson @KellanOlson
I wouldn’t quite understand trading into the lottery for Duren and then paying Ayton but this is also the front office that added 4 million centers two offseason ago so idk – 9:34 PM

Duane Rankin @DuaneRankin
Bennedict Mathurin has same representation as #Suns big Deandre Ayton.
Nima Namakian and Bill Duffy are both at the draft with Mathurin, the Pac-12 Player of the Year.
#Pacers draft Mathurin with 6th overall pick in #NBADraft2022. – 8:46 PM

Ky Carlin @Ky_Carlin
The Pistons have themselves a solid core right now. Cunningham, Ivey, Bey, Stewart, possibly Ayton. They’re building something over there. – 8:35 PM

Jake Madison @NOLAJake
Jalen Duren at 5 would be WILD. Please, please make it happen.
Or leverage to get the Suns to trade Ayton to them tonight? – 7:51 PM

Duane Rankin @DuaneRankin
ESPN’s Jalen Rose: Deandre Ayton should want to part ways with Phoenix #Suns (w/video) https://t.co/iJJXbvEfLI via @azcentral pic.twitter.com/6KENY33iZp7:08 PM

Kurt Helin @basketballtalk
Does Grant trade make it more likely Deandre Ayton becomes a Piston? nba.nbcsports.com/2022/06/23/doe…6:03 PM

Gerald Bourguet @GeraldBourguet
On JaVale McGee’s softball charity game, the Suns backing “their guy” Deandre Ayton and more from last night: bit.ly/39JQ0cj3:09 PM

Gerald Bourguet @GeraldBourguet
Please stop comparing Deandre Ayton and Chris Paul, I am begging you. Performance, contract value, whatever angle you attack it from, it remains weird and nonsensical to keep pitting the two against each other – 2:43 PM

Bill Simmons @BillSimmons
Thought experiment: Ayton for Gobert pic.twitter.com/zs8xNCY4J82:29 PM

Kellan Olson @KellanOlson
A reminder for your expectations tonight: It is called a sign-and-trade, not a trade-and-sign. Ayton can’t sign or talk to teams until free agency. The Bucks got in trouble with this for Bogdan Bogdanovic 4 days before 2020 free agency. Didn’t get him and lost a second-round pick – 11:52 AM

Duane Rankin @DuaneRankin
Phoenix #Suns #NBA free agency speculation, trade rumors and Deandre Ayton azcentral.com/story/sports/n… via @azcentral11:08 AM

Gerald Bourguet @GeraldBourguet
JaVale McGee’s charity softball game was a fun event for a good cause, but it was also the first time hearing from Suns players since Game 7. For @PHNX_Suns, I wrote about their thoughts on Deandre Ayton, Cam Johnson’s potential extension and more: https://t.co/BgLKWp9tTB pic.twitter.com/Ykclal7AyX10:03 AM

Duane Rankin @DuaneRankin
“From my perspective, personally, definitely somebody I always want on my team.” Cam Johnson.
#Suns talk future of teammate Deandre Ayton, who is a restricted free agent this summer. https://t.co/g9EgcLcjGJ pic.twitter.com/YoE13MCZnW10:00 AM

James Plowright @British_Buzz
Heard an interesting suggestion by @Sam Vecenie on his podcast:
Ayton > Detroit S&T
Hayward > Suns
Trade exception > Charlotte
This kind of makes sense for all teams, it would need a pick here or there – 9:00 AM

Ben Anderson @BensHoops
The PDX-Det trade seems like it will inevitably make Phoenix worse because of the overpay him or lose him scenario with Ayton.
But, Portland is the king of trades I love on face value that never make them better.
And, Detroit got bad value in return for Grant.
Lose-Lose-Lose – 1:01 AM

More on this storyline


The Pistons are widely expected to make the pursuit of Phoenix Suns restricted free agent Deandre Ayton their priority after agreeing Wednesday to trade Jerami Grant to Portland. Word is Ayton, furthermore, would indeed embrace the concept of teaming with Cade Cunningham to form a new Pistons two-man core. -via marcstein.substack.com / June 23, 2022

Woj reports that the Suns are now looking to do a sign-and-trade deal for Ayton as opposed to letting him walk away as a free agent: “They’re very motivated to find a sign-and-trade, get some assets back for him,” Woj said. “They do not value Deandre Ayton at a max contract.” -via Clutch Points / June 23, 2022

But even before Grant was moved to Portland, Suns officials had started messaging to rival teams and other external league personnel that Phoenix won’t necessarily balk at matching any offer sheet for Ayton, sources told B/R. With no obvious sign-and-trade piece to send back to the Suns, it’s unclear whether Detroit will have an unencumbered pursuit of Ayton on the restricted free-agent market. -via Bleacher Report / June 23, 2022