Before signing a contract extension with the Los Angeles Lakers, LeBron James was linked to the Phoenix Suns in some NBA speculation.
Now Phoenix is linked to one of James’ teammates in the trade chatter.
Heavy.com’s Sean Deveney reported earlier this week that a Western Conference deal could see the Lakers trade Anthony Davis to the Suns for a package that includes Deandre Ayton and Cam Johnson.
“Phoenix would also be an interesting fit when Ayton can be traded,” the executive said, according to Deveney. “They could do Cam Johnson and Ayton, that kind of thing. I’m sure some in Los Angeles would expect a big return for Davis, but with the injuries over the last few years, it would be difficult to trade him. There’s a lot of reasons why they’d keep him, but that’s one – you’re not going to get fair value because of the injuries.”
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However, a potential trade between the Suns and Lakers involving Ayton would have some issues.
Since Phoenix matched the Indiana Pacers’ offer sheet for Ayton, the center cannot be traded until Jan. 15.
He can also veto any trade in the first year of his new contract.
Would the Suns want to deal Ayton and Johnson, part of their young core for Davis, who has had an injury history?
And would division rival Phoenix and Los Angeles really want to make a deal?
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NBA writers speculated about a possible deal with the Lakers and Suns following Devaney’s report.
Heavy.com’s Austin Boyd couldn’t see a trade between the Suns and Lakers.
“The Lakers worked hard to get Davis on the team, and they did a great job at first,” he wrote. “He was outstanding his first year in Los Angeles and helped lead the team to a championship. He won’t have the same longevity as LeBron, but he can still be a top player for several more years. There’s no reason to trade Davis right Now. They wouldn’t get fair value with him, and he’s still an elite duo with LeBron. Now, this season is very important. If he has another injury-plagued year, the team might have to re-evaluate his situation, but he does Give him a year under Darwin Hamm to turn things around.’
Fansided’s Peter O’Keefe wrote that a trade between the Lakers and Suns would be a lose-lose situation.
“He’s also incredibly unlikely to be traded anytime soon, with continued injury problems reducing the value of the former number one overall pick,” O’Keefe wrote. “That means the Lakers just aren’t going to come close to the value of what they believe internally, and what the general NBA fans believe when he gets up and going. It’s those same injury issues though that would cause Phoenix or any other team for that matter. issue, be hesitant to trade for the 29-year-old. If you were guaranteed 65+ regular season games and a full playoff run, then yes, you would make such a deal. Even then, Ayton is still young and has individual development, while we’ve probably already seen the best of Davis. The latter has also shown a clear preference to play as a power forward rather than a center, so putting him in as Ayton’s immediate replacement is fraught with risk. The only way it could happen that is if circumstances change on either side. Maybe if the Lakers continue to struggle and eventually blow it into rebuild mode, which they probably won’t. happen for 2-3 years if it was. Furthermore, from Phoenix’s perspective, the relationship between Ayton and the Suns should sour to the point of being untenable.”
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Donnie Druin of Sports Illustrated wrote that the deal made no sense.
“The only way this makes sense for Phoenix is if they’re trying to push all of their chips into mid-table for this season,” he wrote. “Davis, on a team with Paul and Booker, would immediately improve their NBA Finals chances at the very least. Even then, for a team that has accomplished so much over the last two years, it feels like it can settle for what’s already in the kitchen…Would Suns fans make this trade? Most will say: Absolutely not.Phoenix did a good job gathering their talent and trading two of their most valuable (and young) assets for Davis (who turns 30 next March ) doesn’t sit well with most Suns fans. One would think the actual organization would agree. This trade is unlikely to materialize, but if an unnamed executive thinks it might be a possibility, we’ve seen more crazy things happen in this league.”
What do you think about the trade speculation involving Anthony Davis and the Suns?
Contact Jeremy Cluff at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @Jeremy_Cluff.
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This article originally appeared in the Arizona Republic: Los Angeles Lakers, Phoenix Suns trade Anthony Davis, Deandre Ayton?