With the 2022 NBA Draft in the rearview mirror, all eyes are now on free agency, which will begin on Thursday. There are plenty of star-studded names in this year’s free agent class, but Deandre Ayton is one of the highest-profile players who is sure to garner a ton of attention from both NBA teams and bettors alike.
Ayton and the Suns could not agree on an extension during the season, which has led to numerous rumors over the past few weeks that he could be playing elsewhere. Phoenix reportedly wants to keep Ayton, but he also wants a max contract.
Below, we’ll look at DraftKings’ odds (in select states) on where the young center could play next season and which potential destination makes for the best bet.
Where can you bet on Deandre Ayton’s free agency options?
There are not many licensed sportsbooks where you can place a wager on where Ayton will play next season. If you live in Illinois, you are one of the lucky bettors who can wager on some NBA free agent destinations on DraftKings.
Why is betting on Ayton’s next team limited in some states? It’s similar to how some states allow betting on the NBA Draft while others don’t because it’s not considered a “sporting event” in those states, perhaps because insider knowledge on the actual, eventual outcome can be used to manipulate the odds.
Deandre Ayton’s next team: Betting odds for free agent center
Odds courtesy of DraftKings sportsbook
Favorite to be Deandre Ayton’s next team: Suns (+100)
The Suns are back in the driver’s seat to re-sign Ayton after the Pistons acquired rookie center Jalen Duren in a multi-team trade on draft night. However, Detroit still has the second-best odds to sign Ayton at +200. The Pistons are slightly overvalued at this spot because all signs point to them just sticking with their young bigs (Duren, Isaiah Stewart) and using their $30 million in cap space to upgrade other positions on their roster.
Since Ayton is an unrestricted free agent, the Suns have the opportunity to match any offer that the big man receives from another team. If he were to stay in Phoenix, it would keep their championship window open for next year as they still have Devin Booker, Chris Paul, Mikal Bridges, etc. It would be best to place a bet on the Suns at +100 because the odds will only increase to minus-money the closer we get to free agency.
Sleeper to be Deandre Ayton’s next team: Pacers (+1000)
The Pacers are one of the teams that have been mentioned in rumors involving Ayton using a sign-and-trade.that some people around the league wondered if Indiana would do a sign-and-trade with Ayton and Myles Turner. (Note: Because the actual wager is on “Deandre Ayton’s next team,” a sign-and-trade to the Pacers would still mean the Pacers are a winning bet.)
However, Scotto also added that some are wondering if the Pacers would spend max money on the young center, as they are rebuilding. Ayton would be an offensive upgrade for Indiana and fit in with other core young players like Tyrese Haliburton and Bennedict Mathurin. If the Pacers don’t go after Ayton, look out for the Spurs, Hawks, and Hornets, who all could use the young center to upgrade their frontcourts.
Long shot to be Deandre Ayton’s next team: Trail Blazers (+2500)
If the Trail Blazers want to make it back to the playoffs and into the top five of the Western Conference next season, then Ayton could be on their radar.that Damian Lillard is interested in playing with the 23-year-old center.
However,has intentions of re-signing Josef Nurkic in free agency after keeping him through the NBA trade deadline. Nurkic will likely not command a max deal on the open market, unlike the one that Ayton is seeking. The Raptors are another team that could take a chance on Ayton via sign-and-trade.