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Kristian Winfield: The win-now Kings should trade the No. 4 pick

Kristian Winfield, New York Daily News on

Published in Basketball

— to Washington in a deal for Bradley Beal

— to Chicago in a deal for DeMar DeRozan

— to Oklahoma City for Shai Gilgeous Alexander

— to Atlanta for Deandre Hunter in a three-team deal that includes John Collins going elsewhere

— in a three-team trade including the Nets that brings Ben Simmons to Sacramento

Spurs should make a run at Ayton

 

There’s no more realistic star player relocation scenario this offseason — or next — than embattled Suns big man Deandre Ayton signing a max contract with the San Antonio Spurs.

The Spurs are one of five teams projected to have more than $20M in cap space to sign free agents this summer and can create even more space by shedding some contracts to sign Ayton to a full four-year max worth $131M.

The fit makes sense on almost every level: Gregg Popovich has thrived with skilled offensive big men at his disposal — think David Robinson, Tim Duncan, LaMarcus Aldridge and, to a lesser extent, Pau Gasol — and a talented five could jumpstart the Spurs, who already have answers at the one and three in Dejounte Murray and Devin Vassell, respectively.

Ayton, however, is a restricted free agent, which means even if he’s heartbroken from Phoenix’s decision not to give him a contract extension last summer (while giving Mikal Bridges one at the same time), and even if he’s at odds with head coach Monty Williams for barely playing him in the second half of their 40-point blowout in Game 7, the Suns can still match any competing offer sheet he signs this summer and keep him in Phoenix.

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