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Why Kevin Durant isn’t likely to land in Phoenix after Suns’ Ayton decision

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Brooklyn Nets superstar Kevin Durant reportedly has Phoenix atop his list of preferred destinations in a potential trade, but the Suns’ major decision on center Deandre Ayton has seemingly removed them from contention.

The Indiana Pacers offered Ayton, a former No. 1 overall pick and a restricted free agent entering the summer, a max offer sheet of $133 million over four years.

The move put the Suns on a 48-hour clock to decide whether to match or let Ayton walk – and Phoenix has decided to keep Ayton in a lineup that has won 115 regular-season games over the last two seasons.

With Phoenix now unable to trade Ayton without his blessing, their lead asset in all proposed Durant trades is now off the table, as ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski explained:

“By Phoenix matching the offer sheet, they cannot trade Deandre Ayton until January 15th of next season, but Deandre Ayton has veto power over any trade for a year.

…. With Phoenix it leaves them probably without the assets to be competitive for a Kevin Durant trade…. Devin Booker, who I think that the Suns have no interest in trading, he can’t be traded anyway for a full year because of his new contract extension. Ultimately the Suns are probably left short of what it would take to pry Kevin Durant out of Brooklyn.”

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