3. Phoenix Suns
Please read on before calling me crazy!
The Phoenix Suns traded for Bradley Beal and built a stellar offensive core that already had Kevin Durant and Devin Booker, and it’s no secret that they have been open to trading Deandre Ayton for depth. There’s been a lot of buzz about Ayton’s relationship with the Suns being frayed. Should we assume he’s suddenly fine because Monty Williams is gone and the Suns have a new owner? I’m not so sure.
A fresh start could be great for a disgruntled young player with All-Star potential and a franchise that can’t afford any more drama that is in championship-or-bust mode. And the Miami Heat could benefit from that. Ayton is under contract for three more years, still young and has room to develop.
The Heat could offer Caleb Martin to the Suns (where he would be very useful) and the Blazers could send Jusuf Nurkic to Phoenix. Let’s also loop the Mavericks in just for fun.
Heat receive: Damian Lillard; Maxi Kleber
Suns receive: Jusuf Nurkic; Caleb Martin; 2030 first-round pick (via MIA)
Mavericks receive: Duncan Robinson; 2026 second-round pick (via LAL)
Trail Blazers receive: Deandre Ayton; Kyle Lowry; Nikola Jovic; Jaime Jaquez Jr.; 2028 first-round pick (via MIA)