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REPORTS: Suns dismiss Tobias Harris rumors, staying the course with Deandre Ayton

Make your peace with the fact that DA is here to stay.

Los Angeles Clippers v Phoenix Suns Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

With the NBA Draft now behind us, the rumor mill is starting to pump out information (and misinformation) as teams prepare for free agency. It’s no different for the Phoenix Suns as their players, most notably Deandre Ayton, are being connected with other assets potentially on the move.

Ask anybody who is a Philadelphia 76ers fan and they will tell you that Tobias Harris is the player in the contract that the franchise wants to get off of. He is currently entering the final year of his five- year, $180M contract. Next season, he will be an unrestricted free agent, so Philly is looking to garner something in return for Harris rather than simply letting him walk.

This is where the misinformation begins. Teams and those close to them are leaking more than my old 2003 Saturn, doing so in an effort to drum up some business, stir the pot, and gauge the market.

Harris was rumored to be part of a deal with the Cleveland Cavaliers, and then it was reported yesterday by Keith Pompey, a beat writer for the Philadelphia Inquirer, that the Suns were interested in acquiring Harris for Deandre Ayton, and had asked the 76ers to find a third-party taker for Ayton since the 76ers already have MVP center Joel Embiid.

Arizona Sports 98.7 FM radio host and Suns insider John Gambadoro adamantly says otherwise, standing fast on his position that DA will remain in PHX.

Rumors will continue to swirl around Ayton as his sizable four-year, $133M contract is one that can help opposing teams get off of their big money, a la Harris. He has three years and $100M left on the deal, which as the new TV rights deal is looming in 2025, may be a steal of a deal when the cap is raised.

Gambo has been consistent in stating that the former #1 overall draft pick isn’t going anywhere, much to the chagrin of the fanbase. Many want Ayton gone due to his lack of hustle, intensity, and ability to dunk (I’m being facetious with that last one…kind of).

Chris Haynes has reported the same, that the Phoenix Suns plan to stay the course with Deandre Ayton.

Go ahead. Lay down on the couch. How does that make you feel?

Whatever your response is, there is no right or wrong answer. Okay, there might be some extreme answers which are probably wrong, but as educated Suns fans, you know what DA is. You know what we believe he can be. And that we believe it every year only to be disappointed.

At the end of the day, this is how I am approaching this news and this season. Deandre Ayton, for all of his faults, is a top-8 center in this league. I would put him in the third tier, behind Tier 1 (Nikola Jokic and Joel Embiid) and Tier 2 (Anthony Davis, Bam Adebayo, Domantas Sabonis). Ayton is the tier with the likes of Jarret Allen and Rudy Golbert, above Tier 4 (Jakob Poeltl, Miles Turner, and Robert Williams).

I know, I know. Trade him for Turner and either Buddy Hield or T.J. McConnell, downgrade at that tier while adding depth. That’s what I’d do, and have done on NBA2K. But that’s not what James Jones and the Suns plan to do.

Phoenix wants to see who and what DA is under new head coach Frank Vogel. And truthfully, so do I. Vogel stated in his opening press conference that he is, “intent on really connecting with him and restoring him to an All-Star level”.

It’s time to make peace with the fact that Ayton will be back, and they’re fourth option on offense is a top-8 center in the NBA. On paper, that is an amazing situation for him to be in. Look at the list of centers above. How many are the fourth option?

On paper is different than on the court, however. Prove it or move it.

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