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Report: Deandre Ayton has fans inside Raptors organization

Deandre Ayton
Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

The Toronto Raptors are one of the more interesting teams to look at as the league’s Feb. 9 trade deadline gets closer and closer, and it seems like they might be interested in center Deandre Ayton.

“Does making a run at a gifted young big man with upside such as the Phoenix Suns’ DeAndre Ayton make sense? Should the Raptors zag?” wrote Michael Grange of Sportsnet.


“Ayton has his fans in the organization, certainly, but enough to make a big swing?”

Ayton seemingly has some interest from other teams across the league, so it will be interesting to see if he ends up getting dealt by the Suns before the deadline.

Something important to note regarding the Raptors’ potential interest in Ayton is that the Suns are reportedly intrigued by Raptors wing O.G. Anunoby, a player who might be on the move soon.

“The Raptors are taking calls on O.G. Anunoby,” said NBA insider Shams Charania. “You look at the [New York] Knicks — they’re willing to give up multiple first-round picks for O.G. Anunoby, but another team in the last week or so that’s emerged is the Phoenix Suns. They have the assets — eight first-round draft picks at their disposal between now and 2030.”

Charania mentioned Cameron Johnson, Dario Saric and Jae Crowder as players that could be thrown into a Suns deal for Anunoby.

It will be interesting to see if the Suns and Raptors hold any talks before the deadline. The two teams could always revisit things in the offseason if talks were to be unsuccessful now.

The Raptors are one of the teams that have been most heavily involved in trade rumors recently as they continue to hover below .500. Many of the team’s core players, including Anunoby, Pascal Siakam, Gary Trent Jr. and Fred VanVleet have been mentioned in those rumors. One Raptors insider believes they will likely trade one of VanVleet or Trent.

If the Raptors were to blow things up and rebuild around youngster Scottie Barnes, Ayton wouldn’t be a bad piece to acquire. The big man is still only 24 years old and averaging 17.8 points and 10.1 rebounds per game this season.

There are only a few days left until the deadline, and it will be interesting to see if the fireworks rival executives were apparently bracing for back in December end up going off.


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