Trade for Ayton and Sign VanVleet--that's it

We should trade players and future picks for Ayton and sign VanVleet and call it a day. Lopez is too old at 35 and can't be trusted to be an Al Horford type that's good for a few more years. I don't get the Lopez obsession--we're not about to make a deep playoff run. Ayton is 11 years younger. He fits our timeline, is clearly better than Lopez defensively, and averages more ppg. We can get threes elsewhere. However, Ayton hits a similar FT% to Lopez and so might develop a three point shot as Lopez did.

KPJ, Tate, Garuba, and Martin works in the financials of the trade and gives the Suns depth. If necessary, we should throw in one or even two of our future firsts to get this Ayton trade to happen. We don't need any more firsts for most of the rest of this decade unless a lot of our young guys are busts. We'd only be losing Garuba in terms of the 9 first round picks (!) we've made over the last three years. Keeping KPJ, Tate, and Martin around does a disservice to them and is the recipe for locker room trouble. We likely know their ceilings as well, though I'm a big believer in KPJ's potential. It's how it shakes out for the team right now and necessary to get Ayton. Maybe the Suns think these four and even two firsts aren't worth Ayton but I don't think it's an open-and-shut case. They'd all get meaningful minutes on the Suns. They'd roll with Biyombo and Garuba at the center or someone else in the bargain bend. Phoenix also desperately need firsts.

The Rockets, meanwhile, would look like this:


That is a very versatile lineup with established and skilled veterans at the 1 and the 5 as bookends to help our still very young guys succeed. Apart from Christopher, who is ninth in my imagined rotation, and Washington who isn't in, all of our young guys would get a lot of minutes. I think Şengün as a 1B lbackup running the second unit works--what we tried last year with a much more inferior team. No hurt feelings or wasted potential. This is a lineup I feel comfortable running with for 2 years.

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