Following months of rumours, it was reported on Wednesday that the Detroit Pistons have transferred Jerami Grant to the Portland Trail Blazers in exchange for a 2025 first-round pick via the Milwaukee Bucks as well as other draught considerations. One of the deal’s additional advantages was that it created even more cap room, giving the Pistons $43 million more to work with this summer. They will not only have flexibility, but they may also have an advantage over other teams because they are one of the few teams with big money to spend this offseason. In order to do this, James Edwards III reports that the Pistons would likely seek big man Deandre Ayton in the free-agent market.
At the same time, there have been some signs that the two parties may split this summer. They weren’t able to come to terms on an extension, and Ayton — who is intent on getting a max deal — didn’t feel valued by the organization according to a report from Adrian Wojnarowski. In addition, Ayton only played 17 minutes in the Sun’s shocking season-ending loss to the Dallas Mavericks in Game 7 of their second-round series, and head coach Monty Williams hinted at “internal” reasons for the benching.
The No. 1 overall pick in the 2018 draft, Ayton has been an important part of the Suns’ success over the last few seasons, which includes a trip to the NBA Finals and the best record in the league. On paper, it would seem to be a lock that he would re-sign with a Suns team trying to make the most of Chris Paul’s final few seasons. And that may still happen given that Ayton is a restricted free agent, and the Suns will have the opportunity to match any offer.
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