Pacers could move on Deandre Ayton via sign-and-trade or offer sheet

Jul 11, 2022, 9:21 AM | Updated: 3:13 pm
Phoenix Suns' Deandre Ayton (22) shoots against Indiana Pacers' Myles Turner (33) during the first ...

Phoenix Suns' Deandre Ayton (22) shoots against Indiana Pacers' Myles Turner (33) during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Saturday, Jan. 9, 2021, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)

(AP Photo/Darron Cummings)

The Indiana Pacers, as one of the few NBA squads with significant salary cap space, could be on the verge of attempting to acquire Phoenix Suns restricted free agent Deandre Ayton.

Whether that’s via extending an offer sheet or working with Phoenix on a sign-and-trade is anyone’s guess.

Arizona Sports’ John Gambadoro reported last Wednesday there were talks of Indiana offering Ayton. Gambadoro said Sunday night that the Pacers’ trade of Malcolm Brogdon to the Boston Celtics hit a few transactional snags and could not yet officially move on offering Ayton something close to a max contract.

ESPN’s Brian Windhorst said the same Monday morning on Get Up!, adding that it’s not known whether the Pacers and Suns have a sign-and-trade in the works or if Indiana would send Ayton an offer sheet. Windhorst said that there could be movement on the Pacers-Ayton front as early as Monday.

The Pacers, as of now, are several million dollars short of being able to offer Ayton a max deal, and that could hurt their ability to force the Suns’ hand. Phoenix can match Indiana’s offer sheet but as last offseason showed was not willing to go into max money to extend Ayton’s contract.

A sign-and-trade would make it easier for a max deal to get done, as the Suns can sign Ayton to a max deal as-is before trading him to the Pacers.

What would come back to Phoenix in such an exchange depends on whether any sign-and-trade is linked to the Suns’ larger ambitions of perhaps landing Kevin Durant. Regardless of that potential blockbuster, Pacers center Myles Turner is a possible inclusion in any deal, as he has been brought up in reports since the February trade deadline.

Turner will make $18 million in 2022-23 before becoming a free agent.

Indiana’s interest in Ayton dates back to February, when there were talks between the Pacers and Suns involving Domantas Sabonis and Ayton, according to Gambadoro.

Penguin Air

Phoenix Suns

Bill Russell, left, star of the Boston Celtics is congratulated by coach Arnold "Red" Auerbach afte...
Kevin Zimmerman

NBA retires No. 6 jerseys, to add jersey patch honoring late Bill Russell

Bill Russell's No. 6 jersey is the first to be retired across the NBA. Players will wear the patch on the shoulders this year.
3 days ago
Devin Booker #1 of the Phoenix Suns reacts during the first half of Game One of the Western Confere...
Kevin Zimmerman

ESPN’s NBA staff still mighty high on 2022-23 Phoenix Suns

If you were wondering why the Suns have attacked the offseason with tinkering, it might be time to remember the past two full seasons.
4 days ago
Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald (11) is tackled by Philadelphia Eagles safety Marc...
Arizona Sports

Larry Fitzgerald, Pedro Gomez in 2022 Arizona Sports Hall of Fame class

Arizona Cardinals legend Larry Fitzgerald and late journalist Pedro Gomez are among the 2022 class entering the Arizona Sports Hall of Fame.
4 days ago
Kevin Durant attends "NYC Point Gods" premiere at Midnight Theatre on July 26, 2022 in New York Cit...
Dan Bickley

Kevin Durant’s exit could get messy for Nets, maybe Suns, too

By my calculations, there is only one way Durant lands in Phoenix. There must be a second act of petulance even worse than the first.
5 days ago
Kevin Durant #7 of the Brooklyn Nets drives to the basket as Chris Paul #3 of the Phoenix Suns defe...
Arizona Sports

Report: Kevin Durant tells Nets owner to pick him or coach, GM

Brooklyn Nets forward Kevin Durant reportedly met with team owner Joe Tsai in London on Saturday and reiterated his trade request.
6 days ago
Deandre Ayton #22 of the Phoenix Suns warms up before the game against the Sacramento Kings at Gold...
Sam Graveline

ESPN’s Pelton gives Phoenix Suns ‘C+’ offseason grade

Despite the Phoenix Suns being among the few teams to dominate the offseason news cycle, ESPN's Kevin Pelton gave them a C+ grade.
6 days ago
Pacers could move on Deandre Ayton via sign-and-trade or offer sheet