For the past three years, center Deandre Ayton has been a key building block for the Phoenix Suns. But despite leading Phoenix to the NBA Finals in 2021, a new development threatens his tenure with the team.
According to ESPN NBA insider Adrian Wojnarowski, talks between the Suns and Ayton on a contract extension have ended. No deal was reached between the two sides.
Per the report, Ayton was expecting a max contract from the team. But Suns owner Robert Sarver apparently didn’t offer one to the 23-year-old center.
More details on the situation between Ayton and the Suns will reportedly come later. But for now, it appears that Ayton will be playing out his contract in Arizona.
Needless to say, NBA fans are stunned:
How is this possible? Just write “rookie max” in the $ compensation line. And super max in the incentives line.
Done deal. https://t.co/ygjLyVfTko
— George Wrighster III (@georgewrighster) October 18, 2021
This is always remarkably dumb because someone is going to give Ayton a max offer sheet next summer and the Suns are going to match it, which means all you’ve done here is make your young player angry at you https://t.co/H3K5sLXKui
— Jacob Rude (@JacobRude) October 18, 2021
Suns what are you doing https://t.co/AxABcx5pmv
— Cole Hurlbert (@TheColeHurlbert) October 18, 2021
Plenty of vitriol is being sent Robert Sarver’s way too. Some of it is a bit NSFW:
Suns went to the finals last season after years of being trash but Robert Sarver had to remind everybody that he’s a cheap piece of shit. https://t.co/sBgHxRCiFC
— Ahmed/Logan Roy’s publicist 🇸🇴 (@big_business_) October 18, 2021
In the end, perhaps this will work out, but Robert Sarver is the reason Suns fans will always assume they can’t have nice things. AK https://t.co/452QtP4C2N
— Kamenetzky Brothers (@KamBrothers) October 18, 2021
Robert Sarver is king of the lowball. This is a pattern throughout his ownership. He doesn’t deserve to be an owner. He must be removed. https://t.co/FOPtrQgTlm
— DomNAyton (@AytonDom) October 18, 2021
Deandre Ayton was the No. 1 overall pick in the 2018 NBA Draft and averaged 16.3 points and 10.3 rebounds a game as a rookie. For his efforts, he was voted to the NBA All-Rookie team in 2019.
Injuries and a lengthy suspension limited Ayton to just 38 games the following season but averaged 18.2 points and 11.5 rebounds per game – both career highs.
The 2020-21 season was where Ayton really came into his own – especially in the playoffs. Ayton averaged 14.4 points and 10.5 rebounds per game in 69 games, then 15.8 points and 11.8 assists per game over 22 playoff games.
If Ayton really isn’t getting a contract extension with the Suns, he’s primed for a massive payday from someone when he hits free agency.
Will Deandre Ayton leave the Suns in free agency?
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