NBA rumors: Hawks expected to join race for DeAndre Ayton

The Atlanta Hawks are expected to join the race for big man DeAndre Ayton, who wants to leave the Phoenix Suns.

This is what Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report said, noting that Atlanta wants to make changes around Trae Young and bolster their roster.

“Atlanta is definitely another team that I’ve heard for Ayton. There’s one person I talked to pretty consistently who’s like convinced Ayton is the guy that Atlanta wants,” Fischer said during his appearance on The Athletic’s NBA Show Podcast, via Pro Basketball Talk.

DeAndre Ayton is seeking a max contract, which the Suns are not inclined to offer him. For their part, the most the Hawks can give him is a four-year deal worth $131 million.

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Atlanta reached the playoffs this season after surviving the play-in tournament, but got eliminated by the Miami Heat in the opening round. In order to take the next step, they will need to improve their defense and Ayton could be the ideal center to help them on that.

Spurs actively seeking to move up in 2022 NBA Draft

San Antonio Spurs are among the teams that are actively looking to move up in the 2022 NBA Draft, per NBA Big Board’s Rafael Barlowe. The Spurs will have four picks in the upcoming draft, which will take place on June 23.

San Antonio hopes to “consolidate” some of their picks since they do not intend to bring three or four rookies into training camp. The Spurs have the 9th and the 20th pick in the first-round, plus two second-round selections in the 2022 NBA Draft.

Teams like the Pelicans and the Kings have expressed an openness in trading their top 10 picks. Both teams, however, will need franchise-changing pieces to give up their draft selections, and the Spurs did not seem likely to give up top-end talent as of now.


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