NBA Rumors: Latest Trade Buzz on Rudy Gobert, Deandre Ayton and John Collins

Zach Buckley@@ZachBuckleyNBAFeatured Columnist IVJune 30, 2022

NBA Rumors: Latest Trade Buzz on Rudy Gobert, Deandre Ayton and John Collins

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    Alex Goodlett/Getty Images

    Big men are all the rage in the NBA right now.

    At least, the latest rumblings from the hyperactive rumor mill might lead you to believe that.

    From high-profile trade candidates to a former No. 1 pick more available than expected in restricted free agency, let's break down the latest big-man buzz.

'Steep' Asking Price for Rudy Gobert; Bulls Are Front-Runners

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    There hasn't been much chatter around the Utah Jazz since they entered the 2022 NBA offseason amid widespread speculation regarding a potentially massive rebuild.

    Apparently, though, that doesn't mean things will stay silent in Salt Lake City.

    It's still seemingly possible they opt to move on from three-time Defensive Player of the Year winner Rudy Gobert. However, their asking price is reportedly "steep," per Matt Moore of the Action Network, who added the Chicago Bulls "should be the odds-on favorite for what team Gobert is on next season, even including the Jazz."

    The Bulls could definitely use a defensive-minded big to plug up the paint, but is the need great enough to part with Patrick Williams, the fourth overall pick in 2020? Executives speculate Chicago will eventually relent and put Williams on the table, since, as Moore noted, the Bulls likely can't field the best offer for Gobert without him.

    This is why some executives speculate—and I stress this, speculate—that eventually Chicago will involve Patrick Williams in the deal.

Suns and Deandre Ayton Prefer Sign-and-Trade

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    Since being made the first overall selection in the 2018 talent grab, Deandre Ayton has done everything in his power to secure the bag.

    Apparently, that may not matter.

    As ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski relayed, there is "no traction" between Ayton and the Phoenix Suns on a new contract, as the club doesn't view him as a max-contract talent. Wojnarowski added that "a number of teams around the league" do think Ayton is worth the money, which is perhaps why both Ayton and the Suns would prefer to broker a sign-and-trade.

    That way, Ayton would get his max money, and Phoenix would get something—picks, players, cap flexibility or some combination of the three—in return for him. That seems like an awful lot of leg work for Phoenix to part with a 23-year-old, walking double-double, but if the Suns don't see him as part of their long-term plans, then a sign-and-trade is their best option.

At Least Three Clubs Eyeing John Collins

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    Trade chatter always has a way of finding Atlanta Hawks forward John Collins, and this summer is no different.

    The Bulls, Boston Celtics and Sacramento Kings have all "shown interest in Collins ... over the last few weeks," Moore reported.

    Atlanta just shook up the hoops world by acquiring All-Star guard Dejounte Murray from the San Antonio Spurs, as Wojnarowski first reported. Still, another shakeup could be in the works, as the ESPN scribe later said the Hawks are "not done dealing yet" and "still have been engaged on John Collins."

    Collins is 24 years old and holds career averages of 16.5 points and 8.3 rebounds to go along with an efficient 55.9/37.6/77.9 slash line. It isn't entirely clear why Atlanta seems so eager to move on, but for whatever reason, Collins is—as always—a name to watch on the trade market.


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