A trade that both teams could benefit from is a Deandre Ayton for Kyrie Irving trade and the more you think about it, the more sense it makes.
Both Dallas and Phoenix will head into the offseason fairly short on options, unless they work with other teams to create flexibility.
One way this can be achieved is by negotiating a sign-and-trade of Irving for Ayton.
“Let’s start with the Suns, who have a pair of generational scorers in Kevin Durant and Devin Booker but very little firepower beyond them,” Zach Buckley wrote.
“Ayton sometimes fills that void, but there is zero reliability with his scoring or even his involvement.”
Not to mention, Chris Paul is becoming less reliable as he experiences career lows in points, offensive box plus / minus and offensive win shares.
Plus, the 38-year-old has missed the last two games of round two playoff series against the Nuggets due to injury and missed 21 games in the regular season due to various ailments.
Paul has a partially guaranteed contract for next season but the Suns do have a new billionaire owner Mat Ishbia, who says he will do whatever it takes to build a winning team. Showing Paul the door seems like it could be in Ishbia’s wheelhouse.
“Adding Irving would give them the third shot-creator who could launch this offense into unguardable territory,” Buckley continued. “There is no right way to defend an attack with Irving, Durant and Booker. Each is a headache to handle in isolations, but they’d be nightmarish when linking up on pick plays for one another.”
One Suns analyst, John Gambadoro, thinks the two franchises could pull off an Irving for Ayton trade this summer.
“I would not rule out a Kyrie Irving for Deandre Ayton trade in the offseason,” Arizona Sports’ Gambadoro said. “I’m telling you, I think that there’s a possibility. KD loves Kyrie. I don’t think the Luka, Kyrie thing worked out … There’s only like three teams with cap space, so it’s gonna have to be a sign-and-trade.”
Dallas can’t let another asset like Jalen Brunson go without receiving something in return, so a sign and trade gives them options. Especially considering the price tag that comes with keeping Irving.
“The Dallas Mavericks have a gaping hole at their starting center,” ESPN’s Tim MacMahon said in mid-April. “The Dallas Mavericks believe that Deandre Ayton is an extremely talented young big man who has a lot of untapped potential. Those are the facts.”
Eight-time All-Star Irving averaged 27.1 points, 5.1 rebounds and 5.5 assists on 49.4 percent shooting from the field and 37.9 percent from beyond the arc in the regular season with the Nets and Mavs.
As for Ayton, it is publicly known he as a strained relationship with Phoenix coach Monty Williams and tried to leave the franchise last summer until they matched Indiana’s offer during restricted free agency.
Ayton has averaged 13.3 points, 9.8 rebounds and one assists in nine games this postseason.
An Irving trade will make sure the Suns franchise rises in stock, while Dallas can build a solid foundation around Doncic that isn’t just attack focused.