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San Antonio Spurs: Examining potential DeAndre Ayton trades

Deandre Ayton
Deandre Ayton / Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports
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San Antonio Spurs
Jaylen Nowell, Derrick White, Jakob Poeltl / Ronald Cortes/GettyImages

San Antonio Spurs Trade Proposal 1

This proposal would see the Spurs and Suns essentially swap starting centers with Ayton going to the Spurs for Jakob Poeltl and Derrick White. Additionally, Dario Saric’s salary would also be included despite likely missing this season with an ACL injury.

The trade would give the Spurs an upgrade at center and, at just 23, one that better fits with the Spurs' timeline. Additionally, Ayton is still improving and has a high ceiling as a prospect, making him ideal for the team’s rebuild. 

With Ayton, the Spurs would have an athletic two-way center that could anchor the defense while also posing a threat on the offensive end. And while he isn't a traditional back-to-the-basket big, he still shows a lot of promise on the offensive end.

As for Poeltl, he would be a solid Ayton replacement in Phoenix due to the fact that he’s an elite rim protector, a very good rebounder, and an improving offensive player. White’s inclusion would help to balance out the talent gap between Ayton and Poeltl while also allowing the Spurs to absorb Saric’s contract from Phoenix.

Also, White would be an excellent addition to the Suns due to his scoring, defense, and playmaking capabilities and even could become their sixth man. Moreover, considering that a possible deal likely wouldn’t occur until around the trade deadline, a strong season from White and Poeltl could drastically increase their trade value. Not to mention Ayton’s contract issues could negatively affect his play.

All in all, White, Poeltl, and two first-round picks may not seem like much for a former first overall pick. Despite that, the trade could look much better in February if White emerges as the team’s leading scorer, Poeltl establishes himself as a top 12 starting center and the Spurs overperform expectations early.

Let's take a look at another potential trade for the Suns' big man.