NBA Trade Rumors: Pacers, Deandre Ayton complicate Kevin Durant trade front

Phoenix Suns Deandre Ayton (Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports)
Phoenix Suns Deandre Ayton (Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports) /

NBA Trade Rumors: The Indiana Pacers and Deandre Ayton threw a massive wrench in the Kevin Durant trade front.

When it was reported that Kevin Durant wanted out of Brookly, there were two teams that were publically noted as his preferred destinations – the Phoenix Suns followed by the Miami Heat. However, Thursday afternoon, the Indiana Pacers and Deandre Ayton threw a wrench on the Durant trade front.

According to recent reports, Ayton intends on signing a max offer sheet with the Pacers later today. The clock on his offer sheet will begin at midnight, meaning that the Suns will have two days to either match said offers sheet (to retain Ayton) or he will be a Pacer.

But there’s more to the story than how this revolves around Ayton and the Suns. There’s the entire Durant side of it all. The Suns were the top team on Durant’s list, reportedly, and now it seems pretty unlikely that they’ll be able to meet Brooklyn’s demand for any deal.

Even if they match the offer sheet for Ayton, they won’t be able to trade him until Jan 15. And for one season, Ayton will essentially have a no-trade clause.

In short, Ayton can’t – or won’t – be traded for Durant. The Nets won’t want to wait until Jan to make a trade and there’s no guarantee that Ayton will want to be moved to Brooklyn.

And if the Suns don’t match and let Ayton leave for nothing, they won’t have enough assets to get a Durant deal done – unless they’re willing to trade Chris Paul which seems extremely unlikely.

Now the Durant front gets interesting. Will Durant be open to more teams? Will he be willing to return to Brooklyn? Will he try to force a trade to Miami even if the offer isn’t what the Nets expected it to be?

Next. New York Knicks: 3 trade ideas to help land Donovan Mitchell. dark

There was already plenty of uncertainty when it came to the Durant trade front and the Pacers and Ayton just made it a whole lot more complicated.