The Phoenix Suns have had a disappointing playoff run and are poised to make a move this offseason. Phoenix was eliminated by the Dallas Mavericks in the second round after reaching the Finals for the 2021 season.
The Suns have Devin Booker and Chris Paul as hardened stars, but they could rework the supporting cast. DeAndre Ayton was expected to be a solid third star, but he didn’t live up to expectations. Ayton has had inconsistent results during the playoffs and head coach Monty Williams’ relationship appears to be on the rocks.
While Ayton is a solid player, both sides are ready to move on. However, the Suns have other steps to take besides moving Ayton. Adding more quality depth from the bench would be helpful to maximize the talent around Booker and Paul.
With that said, here are three players the Suns are due to trade in the 2022 NBA offseason.
*Watch NBA games live from fuboTV (click for free trial)*
3 Players Sans Should Trade
3. Cameron Payne
Cameron Payne made a significant impact on the Suns in the 2021 season, but the Phoenix have had playoff troubles this season. Payne was unplayable at times, as he was not a reliable defender and was inconsistent on offense.
He averaged 4.2 points and 2.1 assists per game on 29.7% shooting from the field and 16.7% from three.
Payne has two years left on his three-year, $19 million contract and Phoenix could use a promotion. The Suns don’t have time to hope that the players can return for the season. Paul can’t play forever and they need to make the most of the years left for the 37-year-old star.
Payne’s contract isn’t all that bad, allowing the Suns to move him. Even if they don’t get a quality player to replace him from the deal, they can make room in the cap to find a level up in free agency.
2. Landry Chamet
Landry Chamet has received an extension that will take effect at the start of next season at the beginning of the season. He has a four-year, $42.5 million contract that is up for sale.
Shamet did well in the regular season, but did not do well in the playoffs.
He averaged 4.3 points, 1.7 rebounds and 1.3 assists. Chamet shot 39.6% from the field and 34.6% from three in the postseason. While he fits the role-playing prototype that the Suns need, he just doesn’t play at a high enough level.
Phoenix had no problems with the regular season for the past two seasons, but failed to win a championship. Swapping a poorly performing playoff player is essential if the Suns are to achieve their ultimate goal of winning their first ring in franchise history.
1. Deandre Ayton
The biggest domino to fall for the Suns is rumored to be a signing and trade deal involving Ayton. Ayton was selected by Phoenix with the first overall pick in 2018. He has shown flashes of stardom, but the relationship seems to have gone too far and could cause problems in the dressing room.
Ayton is a restricted free agent, which means the Suns can take any offer he gets. Removing the mark and exchanging makes sense since the Phoenix can return the assets in return rather than losing it for nothing.
Atlanta, Detroit, Toronto and Portland are considered possible destinations for the 23-year-old big man.
Phoenix has a lot of big decisions to make as he retools his roster. The Suns have star power in Booker and Paul, as well as some quality role players. Depth improvement will be necessary for the Suns to return to the Finals.