At this point, finding a team for Phoenix Suns center Deandre Ayton (and accompanying trade packages) has become it's own lane in the world of NBA basketball.
We've seen teams such as the Pelicans, Raptors, Spurs, Pistons, Hornets and Hawks among others mentioned as potential landing spots for the former No. 1 pick.
Another possible team that has been quietly suggested has been the Chicago Bulls. Chicago has made efforts to get younger, which would involve moving on from center Nikola Vucevic.
Is that a deal the Suns would make? Legendary Bulls reporter Sam Smith doesn't believe so. In his most recent mailbag he explored the topic:
Chicago Not Likely to Trade for Suns Center Deandre Ayton
Q: "The Bulls need to get younger and more physical. Do you think a sign and trade for Deandre Ayton for Vucevic makes sense? We get younger, improve interior defense, Ayton wants to be more involved in offense which we could use and he is more athletic than Vucevic. Phoenix gets a bonafide scoring option. This seems like a Chicago, Phoenix win-win."
A: "Well, let's see: A 30-plus Vucevic on an expiring contract for a former No. 1 overall pick who is maybe the game's best developing big man? Not sure that deserves win-win for the Suns. They're feeling bad enough already after having the best record and losing to a pretty ordinary Dallas team. Of course, there's no chance of that trade. There's obviously something going on with Ayton and the Suns, and a big time sign and trade seems likely given Ayton's desire for a maximum deal. And the Suns' not so much. Ayton's good, but I'm not sure about being worth that given, you know, the Bulls have some contract details to work out on their roster. And all those little big men in the finals four. The Suns likely will want some picks, which the Bulls lack, and most mentioned have been teams like the Pistons, Raptors, Spurs and Trailblazers."
Vucevic, who will be 32-years-old next season, would arrive on the last year of his deal making $22 million. Last season he averaged 17.6 points and 11 rebounds per game.
The Bulls do have pick No. 18 in the upcoming 2022 NBA Draft, but the Suns likely would want a higher pick or to skip draft selections altogether in favor of players who could contribute immediately.
This also matches 98.7 FM's John Gambadoro's report of the Suns not wanting a big center back in exchange for Ayton.
Thank you for making Inside The Suns your destination for Phoenix Suns news. Please be sure to give us a like on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter @InsideTheSunsSI for more news, updates, analysis and more!