The Indiana Pacers are on the verge of acquiring 23-year-old center Deandre Ayton, according to Brian Windhorst of ESPN.
In an appearance on ESPN’s “Get Up” Windhorst said the Pacers are “very close” to either offering Ayton a contract or executing a sign-and-trade and could sign Ayton as soon as Monday.
The Pacers had to officially trade two-way point guard Malcolm Brogdon to Boston to create enough cap space for Ayton. Windhorst says that since the Brogdon trade is “on the verge” of being approved, the Pacers now can offer Ayton a max contract or negotiate a sign-and-trade with the Suns.
Pacers center Myles Turner, who’s been at the center of trade talks throughout multiple offseasons, would likely be a trade piece if Indiana were to pull off a sign-and-trade for Ayton. On June 28, Pacers general manager Chad Buchanan said that the team was not actively shopping Turner, but Windhorst’s reporting suggests otherwise.
Windhorst appeared on “Get Up” last Thursday to say that the Pacers were looking into sign-and-trades “potentially involving” Turner.
Ayton posts career averages of 16.3 points and 10.5 rebounds per game on 59.9 percent shooting from the field. In his last two seasons with Phoenix, the former Arizona Wildcat helped the Suns reach the NBA Finals in 2021 and set a franchise record for wins in 2022. Since Ayton is a restricted free agent, the Suns can match any offer the Pacers send Ayton’s way if they wish to retain the former No. 1 overall pick.