The Phoenix Suns were tabbed by many as the favorites to win the Western Conference after they shocked the NBA by trading for Kevin Durant in February.
But they fell in the second round of the playoffs to the Denver Nuggets, and now there is a real chance they will look significantly different next season.
Former NBA player and ESPN analyst Richard Jefferson says that he feels center Deandre Ayton is “gone” this offseason.
"Everything I've heard and seen, Deandre Ayton is gone."
Richard Jefferson on Ayton when talking about Chris Paul's future in Phoenix and how #Suns can orchestrate roster if they trade Ayton and Paul.
— Duane Rankin (@DuaneRankin) June 8, 2023
Jefferson’s argument is the fact that the Suns have been extremely top-heavy and have had virtually no functional depth following the Durant trade.
That trade required them to ship out two of their best supporting players — Mikal Bridges, one of the best 3-and-D players in the league, and Cameron Johnson, a very good 3-point shooter.
With the immense amount of talent across the league these days, a top-heavy team such as the Suns simply isn’t capable of winning a world championship.
Ayton almost left Phoenix last offseason as a free agent, but the team decided to match the offer sheet the Indiana Pacers gave him.
Although he isn’t an All-Star, he is a very good player who is tough to defend near the basket when teammates set him up, and he gets his team an almost-automatic 10 rebounds a game.
The other big question surrounding the Suns is the future of point guard Chris Paul, who could get waived by the end of this month.
There is speculation that if the 38-year-old is waived, he will join the Lakers and his good friend Lebron James.NEXT: Skip Bayless Reacts To Latest Report On Suns, Chris Paul