INDIANAPOLIS – It is officially rumor season for the Indiana Pacers. Shortly after the Phoenix Suns were dismantled in game seven of the Western Conference Semi-Finals by the Dallas Mavericks, Bill Simmons mentioned on his podcast that the Pacers could be interested in the 2018 first-overall pick. Would you go after DeAndre Ayton if there was mutual interest in both sides?
- Ayton improved his offensive toolbox this season. Shot a career high 63.4% from the field, 57.2% on mid-range jump shots, 50.6% on jump shots, and 59.9% from the painted area
- Has the ability to switch onto bigger guards, can switch on a pick-and-roll, and proven shot blocker around the rim
- Always a threat at the rim for a put-back or alley-oop, and very effective in the pick-and-roll (2nd most points per game, shot 72%, and ranked in 81st percentile as the roll-man)
- Playoff experience and success in the post-season (35 career playoff games, is averaging 16.6 points and 10.7 rebounds while shooting 65.1% from the field)
- Trade would most likely require the Pacers to deal Myles Turner, another player, and MAYBE draft capital
- Only 14 made three-pointers on 56 attempts in four seasons (7 conversions this season)
- Seeking a maximum rookie contract, which is roughly 4 years $136.6M or 5 years $177M deal per ESPN’s Bobby Marks
- At times lacks a “killer” instinct to take games over and assert his dominance
- Could hinder the development of Isaiah Jackson (Averaged 12.1 points, 6.3 rebounds, and 2.3 blocks in 15 starts at 20 years old)
Do the pros outweigh the cons? You can certainly make a case for both sides. Anti-Myles Turner fans would certainly love the idea of bringing in a younger center that can dominate in the paint (when he wants too). The pro-Turner fans would be absolutely against this idea, especially how Luka Doncic was able to exploit Ayton in the season ending loss for the Suns.
The Ayton to Indiana rumor is the first of many between now and the start of the NBA Draft on June 23rd (34 days) and free agency on August 2nd (74 days).
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