On the conclusion of the 2021-22 NBA common season, the Phoenix Suns had been sitting fairly.
They completed 64-18, good for the highest seed within the Western Convention by a sizeable eight video games.
Chris Paul and Devin Booker each garnered MVP recognition, Deandre Ayton took one other step ahead in his growth, and Mikal Bridges was within the operating for DPOY.
They bumped into extra resistance than anticipated within the first spherical in opposition to the New Orleans Pelicans, however they had been a greater group than their seed portrayed.
And Phoenix appeared poised to cruise to the WCF after going up 2-0 on the Dallas Mavericks.
That’s the place issues went downhill rapidly.
The Mavericks advance to the convention finals for the primary time since their 2011 championship season by eviscerating the league’s No. 1 total seed, Phoenix, on the Suns’ homecourt by 33 factors in a Recreation 7. Mavs-Warriors figures to be a superb, old school showdown.
— Dave McMenamin (@mcten) May 16, 2022
The Suns misplaced 4 of their subsequent 5 video games and their season was over in a flash.
A 33-point demolishing in Recreation 7 led to some tense postgame moments about the way it all went so unsuitable.
Ayton, their seemingly prized young-stud heart, solely performed 17 minutes and received a less-than-ringing endorsement from his head coach.
These feedback paired with the actual fact the group didn’t supply him a contract extension final offseason have made his future murky.
To succeed in the mountaintop subsequent yr, the Suns might want to make one huge transfer.
Even when that transfer has been extensively reported.
Suns Should Commerce Ayton
All indicators appear to level to Ayton being traded this offseason.
Phoenix clearly will not be as enthralled with the gifted seven-footer as his play would recommend.
In any other case, they might have provided the highest total choose from the 2018 NBA draft an extension.
One thing they already did with Bridges.
Ayton’s love of video video games may be the explanation behind Phoenix not extending him.
The massive man himself has admitted video video games influence his sleep schedule, typically decreasing him to simply two hours of sleep per evening.
If that’s inflicting him to be torpid, drained, or disengaged at observe and in video games, the Suns may very well be fed up with all of it.
Woj says Phoenix is “very motivated” to discover a sign-and-trade for Deandre Ayton.
“They don’t worth [Ayton] on a max contract.”
— Adam Aaronson (@SixersAdam) June 23, 2022
And if that’s the case, Phoenix should transfer on from their younger heart.
Providing a max contract extension to a middle that’s doubtlessly extra dedicated to digital basketball than actual basketball can be an enormous misstep.
As a substitute, Ayton must be used to bolster the Phoenix bench with “16 recreation gamers“.
The Suns’ bench was a energy all season.
However within the postseason, they didn’t have that one man who stepped up huge off the bench.
Cameron Johnson, JaVale McGee, and Cameron Payne are all high quality function gamers however may have been higher when it mattered most.
The NBA is a league dominated by two-way wings.
Buying and selling their star heart in Ayton to herald extra depth on the wing or off the bench can be a wise play.