Phoenix Suns center Deandre Ayton continues to be locked in tough negotiations with the Suns. Ayton is holding out for a max deal with the franchise and is not keen on shelling out that much for a center.
However, according to Tim McMahon of ESPN, there is a league-wide mentality that franchises are not willing to shell out big money for centers in the current NBA climate. McMahon said:
"There is a thought around the league that paying centers in the modern NBA is a mistake with obviously exceptions to the two guys who finished 1-2 in the MVP would be the most significant exceptions. There is question, does Monty Williams want to coach Deandre Ayton?"
The center has seemingly fallen out with the Suns franchise. The rift was further aggravated following Monty Williams' comments after being benched in the fourth quarter in Game 7 against the Dallas Mavericks.
Which NBA teams should try to acquire Ayton?
The Charlotte Hornets and San Antonio Spurs are also in search of a center and have the cap space to pursue Deandre Ayton. However, the ideal franchise for Ayton at the moment would be the Portland Trail Blazers.
The Portland Trail Blazers have a vital summer ahead of the next NBA season. They plan to appease their superstar Damian Lillard and build a championship contending team around him for next season.
Acquiring Deandre Ayton would do just that. The franchise is in desperate need of a big man who can make a difference on both ends, unlike Jusuf Nurkic, who is a defensive liability. They have identified their next big star in Anfernee Simons. Simons, along with Ayton and Lillard, would be a trio that could get into the postseason.
According to Jake Fischer of "The Bleacher Report," the roadblock between the Suns and Ayton from renewing his contract is the massive salary he is demanding. Portland and others would not have a problem offering as much money as the Trail Blazers have expiring contracts this summer and should have more than $45 million in cap space available.
Chicago Bulls star Zach LaVine has been linked with a free agency signing for Portland. However, putting all your chips into acquiring another off-guard alongside Lillard when it didn't work with CJ McCollum makes no sense.
Another thing the Portland Trail Blazers can do is head into full rebuild mode. Trading away all their assets, including Lillard, and building around good young players by drafting well, could be the way forward for Portland. Ayton fits this modus operandi as well since the center is only 23.
Either way, the Portland Trail Blazers have a decision to make. Since there are other teams in play as well for Deandre Ayton, they have to act quick if they want to get their man.