After the 2022 NBA Draft, the Detroit Pistons seem committed to let their young core grow together. That means that they won’t use their cap space to sign restricted free agent Deandre Ayton, per James L. Edwards III.
Earlier this month, reports indicated that the Pistons were going to use the cap space created by the Jerami Grant trade to make a run at Deandre Ayton. The big man is expected to command a max deal.
Detroit was one of the few teams being able to offer maximum money to the Suns’ center, but now they will allocate their funds to surround their young core with multiple veteran leaders.
With Duren added to a front court that already includes Isaiah Stewart, it makes sense that the Pistons would no longer be interested in offering Ayton a max. Now that the Pistons are out of the Ayton sweepstakes, that leaves very few teams with the needed cap space to sign him.
The Spurs and the Pacers are the only two teams that can reach an agreement with Ayton without involving the Suns in a sign and trade deal. The Hawks on the other side are still interested in acquiring the Phoenix big man.
Though, their level of interest depends on Ayton’s salary. According to Chris Kirschner of The Athletic, the Hawks like the Suns’ bigman, but pursuing and signing him would depend on him taking less than a max contract.
Even if John Collins leaves the team, something that seems likely as of now, per Kirschner. The Hawks would prefer flexibility to move more pieces and build a winning squad around Trae Young.