Pass or Pursue: Top 10 NBA Center Free Agents in 2022

Jusuf Nurkic, Deandre Ayton
Jusuf Nurkic, Deandre Ayton / Christian Petersen/GettyImages
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San Antonio Spurs
Deandre Ayton / Jonathan Bachman/GettyImages

1. Deandre Ayton (Restricted)

Height: 6-11
Age: 23

Like Bobby Portis, it's hard to see a scenario in which Deandre Ayton wants to leave a nearly ideal scenario, but that certainly doesn't mean he's not worth discussing.

Not to give away my opinion so early on, but Ayton checks off just about every box the Spurs need to address this summer. He's a monster down low, can pick and pop, plays defense, catches lobs, can make free throws, and he's a big dude.

When I turned to our staff and Spurs fans on Twitter with 10 wish list offseason scenarios including winning the number one draft pick and signing Zach LaVine, the acquisition of Ayton finished second on both lists. Only San Antonio getting ultra-lucky on May 17th's NBA Draft Lottery to win the number one spot finished higher.

Just about everyone who's watched the Spurs over the last couple of seasons knows how much of an impact Ayton could make immediately, and poaching someone like him would be a game-changer in the Alamo City.

Unfortunately, I don't see the Spurs signing Ayton as very realistic right now, and those slim chances are probably getting even slimmer as Phoenix continues to win.

That said, the Spurs should obviously be as interested as most of their fans are if anything changes.

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