Ever since news broke last week that the Utah Jazz would be trading Rudy Gobert to the Minnesota Timberwolves (the trade was made official on Wednesday morning), there has been speculation that the Jazz could target Deandre Ayton of the Phoenix Suns to be their new starting center.

One widely discussed idea posited that Utah could get involved in the Kevin Durant saga by being part of a three-team trade with the Suns and Durant’s Brooklyn Nets, but according to Bleacher Report’s Jake Fischer, perhaps those thoughts should be put to rest.

“Utah has been described to B/R as an unlikely destination for Ayton,” Fischer wrote Wednesday.

The 23-year-old Ayton (he’ll be 24 on July 23) was the first overall pick in the 2018 NBA draft and has been solid up to this point in his career, even if he’s been overshadowed by some stars from that draft such as Luka Doncic and Trae Young.

For his career, Ayton has averaged 16.3 points, 10.5 rebounds, 1.6 assists and a block per game.

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Despite his relative success, however, Phoenix did not extend his contract and he is a restricted free agent this summer.

Fischer on Wednesday delved into how that restricted free agency is being affected by the Durant domino, and also how the return the Jazz got for Gobert and the one the San Antonio Spurs got from the Atlanta Hawks for guard Dejounte Murray has and will affect the Nets’ negotiations in a Durant deal.

“Rudy Gobert getting traded for an arm, a leg and two mountains is helping (the Nets’) cause,” Fischer quoted a Western Conference executive as saying.

“There’s no way the Nets will ever trade Kevin Durant for anything less than what Rudy Gobert got Utah. If nothing comes, I can see them saying (to the players), ‘We just all have to come back.’ If I’m them, I just try to string this out as long as possible.”

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