Pistons eyeing Deandre Ayton

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.
Source: Marc Stein @ marcstein.substack.com

What’s the buzz on Twitter?

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

Duane Rankin @DuaneRankin
‘That’s my guy.” Mikal Bridges on Deandre Ayton. #Suns azcentral.com/story/sports/n…12:54 AM

Alex Kennedy @AlexKennedyNBA
Has Deandre Ayton played his final game with the Phoenix Suns? We’re discussing that now: twitter.com/i/spaces/1RDGl…11:30 PM

Duane Rankin @DuaneRankin
“Of course, that’s my guy. That’s my best friend. Definitely don’t want him going anywhere else.”
Mikal Bridges on Deandre Ayton. #Suns10:43 PM

James Edwards III @JLEdwardsIII
Pistons, if they want, could make Phoenix and Portland REALLY sweat for Ayton and Simons, both of whom are restricted free agents. Options. – 10:36 PM

Jason Calmes @BourbonStShots
Earlier this summer, I was annoying all kinds of group threads with hypothetical Ayton to NOLA scenarios. At this point I’m out. If you can’t make it work with Monty Williams, it’s hard for me to believe another culture will magically make it work. -MP – 10:12 PM

Duane Rankin @DuaneRankin
Just FYI: Deandre Ayton isn’t here. #Suns9:36 PM

Rich Hoffman @rich_hofmann
As an outsider, kinda like the Detroit-Portland swap for both teams?
If you’re gonna still build around Dame (which is more questionable), you do it with big, athletic wings. And Cade-Ayton pick-and-roll would be fun, if they can actually get him. – 9:03 PM

Duane Rankin @DuaneRankin
Control what you can control.” Chris Paul on Deandre Ayton situation.
We’ve actually seen Chris Paul, Torrey Craig, Cam Johnson, Cameron Payne, Mikal Bridges and JaVale McGee.
So we haven’t seen Devin Booker, Ish Wainright, Iffe Lundberg or Landry Shamet. #Suns8:45 PM

Gerald Bourguet @GeraldBourguet
JaVale McGee said he did watch the Western Conference Finals, but joked “one single tear” rolled down his cheek while watching.
As for Deandre Ayton, McGee said DA has gotta do what’s best for him and his family pic.twitter.com/VecJGHtb5k8:28 PM

Sean Deveney @SeanDeveney
Once the Pistons use their $50 million in cap space to land DeAndre Ayton, all this will make sense. – 8:10 PM

Gerald Bourguet @GeraldBourguet
Cam Johnson and Cam Payne. Johnson echoed Mikal saying Deandre Ayton is their guy and the Suns want him back as they build something special.
As far as Cam’s possible extension, he’s letting the process work itself out. Said the first thing on the agenda is DA’s situation pic.twitter.com/5yd2ojVdVR8:09 PM

Kellan Olson @KellanOlson
Mikal Bridges said he of course wants Deandre Ayton to stay in Phoenix. When they’ve been talking and hanging out, Ayton’s RFA status/basketball things don’t come up. Called DA his best friend. – 7:52 PM

Gerald Bourguet @GeraldBourguet
Mikal Bridges said he can’t really control anything, so he doesn’t pay too much attention to the negativity or talk about free agency with Deandre Ayton, but he obviously wants him back. “Of course. That’s my guy. That’s my best friend.” pic.twitter.com/6IVBGzwOHW7:50 PM

Mark Deeks @MarkDeeksNBA
Jaden Ivey
Cade Cunningham
Deandre Ayton
Saddiq Bey
Hamidou Diallo
Saben Lee
Isaiah Stewart
Killian Hayes (it may increasingly be a one-man fan club but dammit we’re still open for business)
+ a few extras TBD
….OK, I’m listening. – 6:50 PM

David Hardisty @clutchfans
The Pistons getting Cade Cunningham, Jaden Ivey and DeAndre Ayton together would be pretty interesting. Sacramento really should be shopping that 4th pick hard if they’re not taking Ivey. – 6:49 PM

Eric Koreen @ekoreen
Gotta think the Pistons are gonna take a run at one of the big three restricted guys: Ayton, Bridges or Brunson – 6:31 PM

Dave Early @DavidEarly
Lot changed since Mar. (Ayton, etc. ) but had @Jake Fischer on pod & he predicted we could be talking more about #Pistons than people expect w/ a possible Jerami Grant deal kicking things off. Mentioned them as potential Jalen Brunson suitors too.
https://t.co/1NoqJ8adWu pic.twitter.com/Djcvgl1Xyl6:22 PM

Tommy Beer @TommyBeer
The Pistons now looking at over $55 million in cap space this summer… so the winner of the Portland-Detroit trade may be DeAndre Ayton and/or Miles Brides – as the Pistons can now an extend max offer sheets – 6:16 PM

Ky Carlin @Ky_Carlin
I feel like the Pistons are positioning themselves for free agency. I wonder if they have DeAndre Ayton in their sights. – 6:16 PM

Sam Quinn @SamQuinnCBS
Maybe the Pistons have some very specific plans for the cap space they just created? That’s the only explanation I can think of for the Grant deal. Maybe they’re hoping this knocks Portland out of the Ayton race? – 6:08 PM

Dave Mason @DeuceMason
Pistons must be aiming for Ayton by clearing all this room. LETS GET WILD. – 6:04 PM

Chris Herrington @ChrisHerrington
If they’re sending out Grant without taking back salary could set up an Ayton offer sheet? – 6:00 PM

Ric Bucher @RicBucher
What’s next for Warriors’ core, Kyrie Irving, Deandre Ayton and others foxsports.com/stories/nba/wh…3:57 PM

Micah Adams @MicahAdams13
Starting centers on NBA champs
Kevon Looney: $5.2M
Brook Lopez: $12.7M
Dwight Howard: $2.6M
Marc Gasol: $24.1M
JaVale McGee: $1.5M
Tristan Thompson: $14.3M
Andrew Bogut: $12.9M
Tiago Splitter: $10.0M
Avg salary: $9.3M
Keep that in mind when chatting Ayton max or Gobert trade. – 11:22 AM

More on this storyline

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

Gerald Bourguet: Chris Paul on what Deandre Ayton’s approach should be this summer: “Control what you can control….It’s a good problem to have, if it is a problem.” When asked about the COVID report, Paul deflected, saying “I ain’t seen none of that, I’m here now” and “They beat us, we lost.” -via Twitter @GeraldBourguet / June 22, 2022