Grade the Trade: Bill Simmons pitches wild Pacers deal for Suns star

Bill Simmons, The Ringer. Photo by Mike Windle/Getty Images for Vanity Fair
Bill Simmons, The Ringer. Photo by Mike Windle/Getty Images for Vanity Fair /
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Indiana Pacers
Deandre Ayton, Myles Turner – Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports /

Laying out the Pacers’ trade idea

Last summer the Indiana Pacers signed Phoenix Suns center Deandre Ayton to a maximum contract offer sheet, a deal that was immediately matched by the Suns. Still, that organizational interest in Ayton is what Simmons went back to in pitching his trade.

His theory was that the Pacers could upgrade at center and send two players back to the Suns to give them help at multiple positions. The construction is not an entirely new one to Pacers fans:

It’s been clear for some time that the Suns are not in love with Deandre Ayton, and whether or not that suddenly clears up because Monty Williams is no longer the coach is an open question. They also have a lack of a lockdown backcourt defender and of reliable point guards. This trade would kill two birds with one stone, moving Ayton for a replacement center while also bolstering the point guard position.

In fact, for Phoenix, this makes a lot of sense. Generally, teams try not to trade a max player for two lesser players, but (1) the Suns are in spectacular need of depth even after a solid run on the minimum market in free agency, and (2) they might not be trading a dime for two nickels; they might be trading it a dime for another dime plus a nickel. Both Myles Turner and T.J. McConnell would be excellent fits for what the Suns need.

If the Suns came to the Pacers and offered this trade, should the Pacers say yes?