After agreeing to send straw grant towards Trail Blazersthe pistons point at Suns center Deandre Ayton in free agency, sources tell James L. Edwards of The Athletic. Ayton will be a restricted free agent, so Phoenix can match any offer he gets, but there is speculation he could move due to his desire for a max contract and a reported confrontation with the coach. Monty Williams in the playoffs.
Detroit will head to the free-agent market with roughly $43 million in salary-cap space once the Grant trade is complete. Edwards says the Pistons can use him to explore trade opportunities if Ayton re-signs with the Suns or is traded elsewhere. He adds that the general manager troy weaver you won’t feel pressured to go through it all during the off-season. The organization can save some space to take on unwanted contracts and acquire preliminary assets.
with its obligations Blake Griffin finally over, the Pistons have salary-cap flexibility for the first time in several years, Edwards notes. They want to build an exciting and competitive team around Cade Cunningham and they expect Ayton to be part of that group.
There’s more on the Grant exchange:
- The deal with Portland is the best offer the Pistons received for Grant, according to Edwards’ sources. He adds that potential trades with other teams have been discussed since the February deadline, but no formal offer provided a better return than the Blazers’ draft pick package.
- Trading their starting power forward may indicate the Pistons are focused on Keegan Murray with the fifth pick in Thursday’s draft, but Edwards cautions that it’s not a foregone conclusion. Jaden Ivey will also be considered if available, along with Benedict Mathurin. Edwards also points out that Isaiah Stewart either Sadiq Bey he could replace Grant, allowing the team to focus on other draft positions. With his new cap space, Edwards suggests the Pistons could try to acquire a pick late in the lottery if a big man like Jalen Duren is still available.
- Damian Lillardagent of Aaron Goodwinsupported trade tweet Aaron Fentress of The Oregonian. He said it shows “the Blazers are competing.”
- Zach Harper of The Athletic gives the Trail Blazers a B and the Pistons a C-plus in his ratings for the deal. He points out that Grant was extremely productive during his two seasons in Detroit and gives Portland a path to quickly return to contender status. Harper adds that the trade makes sense for the Pistons’ rebuilding effort, though it’s a long time to wait for Milwaukee’s first-round pick in 2025.