Which team will Dender Eaton Playing for next season?
This question has gained more credibility over the past few weeks, and it’s one that hints at what must be the most interesting story heading into this off season. The 24-year-old mega man of The Suns, who was the number one pick in 2018, entered restricted free agency this summer after Phoenix Failed in postseason. Rumors continue to grow regarding Eaton and his relationship with the organization that drafted him. We’ll explain this in detail below, but sources say the athlete It is “more likely” that Ayton will play somewhere other than Phoenix next season.
One of those destinations could be Detroit, where rebuilding is taking place pistons Enter a free agency with a large space, a privileged player in it Kid Cunningham And one of the most obtainable and attractive trading chips in the league Jeramy Grant. The Pistons are expected to do their due diligence and tour Eaton, according to sources. However, how willing Detroit is to go get his services is ambiguous.
With the Ayton saga, it’s sure to dominate the off season NBA finals conclude, Athletic Former NBA executive John Hollinger, and James L. Edwards III (a Pistons beat writer) discuss the Ayton case, the possible end of his time in Phoenix, if Detroit makes sense as a destination and if the Pistons Should Do everything they can to land Ayton.
(Editor’s note: Conversation edited for clarity and length)
Edwards: Given the ongoing imbalance between Deandre Ayton and the Suns, the prevailing belief aligns with what I’ve heard and it looks like he’ll play for another team next season. How sure are you that his time in Phoenix is over?
Hollinger: I was skeptical until I started talking to a few people recently. Now, I think he’s likely to be at a new destination next season, especially if Suns can tag and trade back some value. For whatever reason, I don’t think Phoenix is entirely comfortable going forward with him on a big financial deal, and I think Eaton might be OK with going elsewhere if he can take on a bigger offensive role.
Edwards: The confrontations between Ayton and Suns coach Monty Williams are raging. There are rumors, too, that Ayton doesn’t sleep much because he plays video games all night long. Do you think teams are more hesitant now to get it and get it than they were, let’s say, six months ago? Or are these concerns a bit exaggerated?
Hollinger: As long as he plays Strat-O-Matic basketball, I don’t see what the problem is. In all seriousness, I think the questions each team is asking is a version of “What don’t we know? Why is Phoenix reluctant to pay him? Is it just Robert Sarver or is there something else going on here?” I don’t see a specific reason for its depreciation to Beyond the questions every front office will ask about what stopped Suns.
Ayton had a good season and would be one of the best free agents on the market. The last two seasons have shown that he can hold up in a high-level match and not play far from the ground.
Edwards: As mentioned earlier, I think the Pistons will do their due diligence on Ayton and, if the price is right, run for his services. However, I don’t feel like they would break the bank for it. On the surface, do you like the iTunes fit with the pistons? Is there another team that you think would be better?
Hollinger: I love the fit. First of all, the Pistons are in a position where they need top level talent from any bar in order to compete at a high level. Kid Cunningham is part of that solution, and the fifth pick could score another player of that caliber, but Detroit is still at the point where talent acquisition is more important than decent.
The problem I see in Detroit is that it will probably cost them something to quit because Ayton is a restricted free agent. Even if Phoenix was reluctant to take him back, it’s better for Suns to match the offer sheet than to let him leave for nothing. On the other hand, a return in a brand and commerce could reshape their roster in a way that keeps them below the luxury tax line and still allows them to compete in the coming year. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to draw a direct line to Jerami Grant here.
If it’s not the Pistons, the other two solid fits I see for Ayton are in Portland and San Antonio. Once again, Portland would almost certainly be by signing and trading given the Blazers’ current cap position; Spurs have plenty of room to sign iTunes outright, but signing and swapping – for example, Jacob Boltle and Keldon Johnson – would likely seem like the end of the game.
Edwards: As I mentioned, Detroit could go after Eaton in restricted free agency, but it seems that signing and commerce involving Jeramy Grant is an avenue that can benefit both sides. If you leave Eaton Phoenix, are you sure about it by signing and trading? Do you like fitting in with Grant on the Suns?
Hollinger: Yes, the Suns will almost certainly follow Mark and Trade if Ayton leaves because they have no way of replacing him otherwise. They can only recover $18.9 million, and Grant makes $20.9 million, but that part can be easily resolved by adding small contracts from Phoenix.
The biggest benefit to Detroit is the ability to make a deal like this and also Become a player in the rest of the free agencies. They can pick options at Frank Jackson, Luca Garza and Carson Edwards, spend $25 million or so in a free agency, and then when they’re done shopping, work as a “over the top” team and run a tag-and-exchange of sending Grant, Jackson, Garza, and Edwards to Eaton and Torey. Craig.
As for Grant’s fit with the sun… I like it somewhat. I don’t think he’s as good as Ayton, but Phoenix has a hole in his slate where the lack of big wings is an issue, and we’ve seen that especially in the Dallas series. I think Grant is getting a bit overrated, but if he’s willing to be the 4th choice on the elite team, he can fit in nicely with Phoenix’s roster, and give them a viable 5th mini-ball in the playoffs they’ve been lacking in the latter. Two years.
Edwards: One last thing: I’m in the boat where the pistons, with plenty of cover space, don’t need to be used all at a free dealership this summer. this chapter blah. Looks like Galen Bronson has gone to New York or is staying in Dallas. Zach Lavigne is not coming to the Pistons. I don’t see Detroit going after Miles Bridges given the price he’s likely to order. Ayton was sentenced. I loved the way Isaiah Stewart finished the season. Your honest is really good. Kid Cunningham is the face. The top five pick is coming.
I guess my question to you is, do you think the pistons have to feel pressure to make a big move this is Summer, like getting Ayton? I think the pressure to change the angle is one year on a personal level.
Hollinger: I agree with you on the issue of timing. Detroit’s big boost in the rankings will likely come a year from now, when the Cunningham-By-Stuart group will spend another year together, the fifth pick in 2022 will have a full year under his belt and the Pistons will be sitting on a huge trove of cover space.
On the other hand, I don’t see how converting Grant to Eaton would hurt any of those tactics, except to the point that it leads to a worse first-round pick of 2023. Grant is in an expired deal, his value will never be higher, and he’ll want a salary that might be a bit out of line with His actual position in the league. Capping Detroit is so clean that earning a maximum salary this year won’t stop them from doing it again next year; Cunningham is the only player to have earned more than $10 million in 2023-24.
Given the difficulty of bringing any famous players to Detroit in a free agency in general, and the rarity of good young players from any client team at all, I think the Pistons should explore all of their options on Ayton. You’re right they don’t. ought to Do that, and there should be a price point in the signing and trade talks where they are willing to leave. However, this opportunity will not necessarily reappear in the next two or three years.
(top photo Deandre Ayton and Isaiah Stewart: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports)
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