Thursday, December 7 2023

The Boston Celtics are not interested in trading for Phoenix Suns center Deandre Ayton, according to sources. This is because of the four-year, $132.93 million contract Ayton signed with the team last July.

“The only tradable players (non-sign-and-trade) left on Phoenix’s roster now are Kevin Durant, Devin Booker, DeAndre Ayton, and Cameron Payne (who only makes just over $6 million),” wrote Brian Robb of MassLive.

According to a few NBA betting sites, the Boston Celtics hold second-shortest odds to win next season’s championship in 2024. Sportsbooks show the Denver Nuggets as favorites to repeat.

“The Celtics have no interest in an Ayton deal, per a league source, due to his pricy contract so any scenario that involves Brogdon going to Phoenix now is dead without a third team getting involved,” Rob added.

“Phoenix could involve moving Ayton elsewhere but don’t look for Boston to get involved unless Ayton’s going to a different team. … Would Boston move Brogdon and other assets for Kristaps Porzingis (with Brogdon going to a third team)?”

NBA Rumors: Boston Celtics are not pursuing Phoenix Suns center Deandre Ayton, prioritizing Jaylen Brown’s extension

Since Ayton will enter only the second year of his four-year, $132.93 million contract next season, the Celtics cannot afford him. Jayson Tatum is the highest-paid player with Boston. The three-time All-NBA member inked a five-year, $163 million extension with the team in November 2020.

Celtics G.M. Brad Stevens still has to extend Jaylen Brown as well. He’s prioritizing Brown’s supermax extension this offseason. The two-time All-Star is eligible to sign a five-year, $295 million deal. Meanwhile, Ayton is projected to make $32,459,438 next season, $34,005,126 in 2024-25, and $35,550,814 in 2025-26.

Additionally, the Phoenix Suns are expected to shop Ayton across the league this summer. On Sunday, the Washington Wizards finalized a trade to send Bradley Beal to Phoenix for Chris Paul, Landry Shamet, multiple second-round draft picks, and a picks swap.

Beal also lifted his no-trade clause to help the Suns. Trading Ayton seems to be the next task on Phoenix’s agenda. Beal, Devin Booker, Kevin Durant, and Deandre Ayton — all four stars have max contracts.

“The first apron is set at $7 million above the luxury-tax level in each season of the CBA (so $169 million for 2023-24), and the second apron is set at $17.5 million above the tax threshold (or $179.5 million),” reported ESPN’s Tim Bontemps.

Furthermore, Beal has $207 million remaining on the five-year, $251.02 million max extension he signed with Washington last July. The Celtics were among the teams interested in trading for the 11-year veteran. However, a deal never manifested. If Boston cannot afford Ayton, Beal was definitely off limits.

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Source: Basketball Insider


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