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Deandre Ayton

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NBA Free Agency is Here, but Not Everyone is Happy

NBA Free Agency is Here, but Not Everyone is Happy

There is a lot of buzz around the NBA as teams and players anticipate the moves coming during this period of free agency and trade rumors. Some players may be in the right spot, but others are not finding a lot of deals.

Ayton Deal Is On The Horizon

One week after the NBA free agency period started, Deandre Ayton is still waiting for a team to offer him a new contract. The league now focused on what will happen involving a Kevin Durant trade from the New Jersey Nets. Therefore, interest in signing Ayton to a contract has cooled off. However, it’s reported that the restricted free agent center has the Indiana Pacers and Toronto Raptors interested.   

Ayton and his agent Bill Duffy have expressed their disappointment that they didn’t reach a max contract extension offer from the Phoenix Suns during the season. The 23-year-old had his best year as a pro in 2021-22, averaging 17.2 points and 10.2 rebounds per game. 

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It’s unclear whether the Pacers and Raptors are considering getting in on the Durant sweepstakes. However, Indiana currently has enough salary-cap space to sign Ayton to a max deal. Toronto would still have to make a few moves to free up the money to offer him a contract.  

Nets Doubtful To Trade Simmons

All the attention for the Brooklyn Nets has revolved around the status of Kyrie Irving and Durant. Everyone wants to know whether they will get a legitimate trade offer for either of the superstars. Ben Simmons was traded to the Nets in March and talked about a possible comeback during the playoffs that never materialized. With all the drama surrounding Brooklyn’s big three, the Australian guard has been mentioned in several trade packages.

Simmons is currently playing under his rookie extension. This means the Nets are ineligible to have two players on the roster currently under designated rookie contracts through a trade. There are also questions about acquiring a player who is just coming off back surgery and still has more than $100 million remaining on his contract. This eliminates a lot of options for team management. In addition, it indicates they will likely keep him on the roster for the upcoming season. 

Lakers Only Team With Serious Interest In Irving 

There have probably been a few teams that have called the Brooklyn Nets with interest in trading for Irving. However, only one team showing serious interest is the Los Angeles Lakers. Irving was also spotted in LA at a recent WNBA game between the Sparks and Storm on Thursday night. This increased speculation that he has been interested in signing with the Lakers. 

Irving took a $36.5 million player option with the Nets just days before his teammate, Durant, requested to be traded. ESPN NBA insider Adrian Wojnarowski has said that Irving has six teams to which he will agree to be traded, including the Lakers. 

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This past weekend, it was reported that the team was engaged in trade talks with the Nets, who reportedly want guard Joe Harris involved as part of the deal. With the trade seeming inevitable, everyone must wait and see when it will happen and how much the Lakers will need to spend to get it done.  

Erik is a writer and a sports nut who has had the good fortune to be able to experience a wide variety of world sports action up close and personal. He enjoys staying on top of the changing world of athletics and capitalizing on his writing skills to offer a unique take on what's going on in the ever-changing athletics ecosystem.

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