Yesterday, we wrote about two members of the Phoenix Suns being named by Bleacher Report as “dream offseason trade targets” for teams around the league in Deandre Ayton and Jae Crowder.
What we forgot to mention is the Suns indeed had a trade target of their own labeled, and it’s a familiar face if you’ve been keeping up with the rumor mill since the end of the season.
Atlanta Hawks forward Clint Capela has been linked to the Suns on more than one occasion, mostly thanks to Atlanta’s potential interest in Ayton and their ability to afford him.
“The Phoenix Suns won the Western Conference last season and paced it—along with the entire league—in wins this time around. If they spent their offseason solely focusing on internal issues, that would be tough to argue against,” said Bleacher Report.
“However, doing so would almost certainly entail re-signing Deandre Ayton to a max-money contract, and it seems Phoenix may have other ideas.”
The conversation around Ayton is nothing short of a see-saw, especially since a spat with coach Monty Williams in Game 7 bled into the public eye. The Suns declined his rookie scale extension last year and a sour ending to the season has put his future in Phoenix up in the air.
B/R believes Capela (and more) could be a serviceable offer for the Suns to pull the trigger.
“‘Ayton is expected to command a maximum salary, sources said, but there is skepticism among league executives the Suns would match such a lucrative offer,’ B/R’s Jake Fischer reported. ‘… There’s a stronger sense among league figures that Phoenix brass simply does not view Ayton, or any center, as a player worth greater than $30 million annually.’ If Ayton is to move, then Phoenix needs him to exit via sign-and-trade. Sending him to Atlanta, a potential suitor according to Fischer, could deliver both a replacement center in Clint Capela and at least one more contributor, perhaps shot-creator Bogdan Bogdanovic.”
At 27-years-old, Capela played in 74 games and averaged 11.1 points, 11.9 rebounds and 1.3 blocks per contest. He is Atlanta’s franchise leader in career field-goal percentage and led the NBA in rebounds last season.
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