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Deandre Ayton Free Agency: Are Mavericks In Mix?

If the former No. 1 pick has played his last game for Phoenix, is Dallas a potential landing spot?

DALLAS - Deandre Ayton is a no-doubt force to be reckoned with. From his work on the offensive and defensive glass, to his ability to stretch the floor, he's a modern-day versatile big.

It was reported that the Phoenix Suns have made Ayton available via sign-and-trade this offseason, according to Marc Stein.

The Dallas Mavericks and general manager Nico Harrison have options this offseason. Whether they will pursue Ayton or not remains to be seen. However, he would be an immediate upgrade to the Dallas frontcourt.

Averaging 17.2 points and 10.2 rebounds is enough to bring many teams calling. Who would not want a center with that production who can stretch the floor? It was a glaring need for the Mavericks in each of their playoff series for someone who could rebound at that rate.

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Dallas has been linked to several free agent centers thus far. Whether it be Ayton, Mitchell Robinson or Myles Turner, the front office is making the paint a priority.

As can be imagined, the list of available suitor for Ayton's services will be extensive. Without any cap space to sign Ayton outright, the Mavs would have to engage Phoenix in a sign-and-trade.

The Detroit Pistons, San Antonio Spurs and Portland Trail Blazers are also potential landing spots for the former No. 1 pick. Dallas likely doesn't have the assets to make a deal with the Suns.

But if Ayton were inclined to come to Dallas, and especially Luka Doncic, then the pressure would be on Phoenix to make something happen or risk losing their starting center for nothing.

This sort of move represents a first real test for the new GM in terms of player acquisition. The Mavs know what their roster looks like - and having faced (and survived) Ayton in the recent NBA Playoffs, they know what a force he'd be in Dallas.