Jalen Rose digs deep into the hip-hop crates for the 1993 song “Outta Here” by KRS-One that epitomizes how he thinks Deandre Ayton should feel about the Phoenix Suns.
“Do you ever think about when you outta here,” said Rose on ESPN’s Jalen and Jacoby on Thursday. “If I’m Deandre Ayton, I want out of there.”
This is in reaction to David Jacoby noting reports Phoenix doesn’t want to offer Ayton the max and is willing to deal him.
“Ya’ll ain’t take care of me,” Rose continued. “The one thing about building a team and building a culture is taking care of your guys, especially the ones that are homegrown. You just drafted him ahead of Luka (Doncic) and Trae Young. He’s not them, but he helped ya’ll get to the NBA Finals (in 2021). He is one of the better young bigs.”
With Ayton, 23, being a restricted free agent, the Suns can match any offer from another team with the max being four years, $131 million.
They can also pay him more than anyone else with a max deal of five years, $177 million, but ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski said Wednesday on ESPN’s NBA Today the Suns are “motivated” to do a sign-and-trade with their starting center.
“I think they’re very motivated to find a sign-and-trade, get some assets for him,” Wojnarowski said. “They do not value Deandre Ayton at a max contract.”
Ayton averaged a double-double in four NBA seasons – 16.3 points and 10.5 rebounds – after being taken No. 1 overall in the 2018 draft out of Arizona.
He shot a career-best 63.4% from the field this season, but scored just five points in 17 minutes of Game 7 of the Western Conference semifinals Phoenix lost to Dallas by 33 points, 123-90, at Footprint Center.
On top of that, Ayton had an exchange with Monty Williams on the sidelines when taken out just three minutes and 32 seconds into the second half of Game 7.
Williams didn’t put him back in the game as Phoenix trailed by 38 points at the time. Williams said afterward, “it’s internal” when asked why Ayton only played 17 minutes.
So Rose, in making his point about how Ayton should want out of Phoenix, said the Suns were “the most disappointing team” in the NBA playoffs.
“Even ahead of the Nets,” Rose said.
Brooklyn was the only team that got swept in the entire playoffs. Boston swept the seventh-seeded Nets in the first round.
On Wednesday, Suns forwards Mikal Bridges and Cam Johnson each said they want Ayton to remain in Phoenix.
“Of course, that’s my guy,” Bridges said before JaVale McGee’s JUGLIFE celebrity softball game at Chase Field. “That’s my best friend. Definitely don’t want him going anywhere else.”
Chris Paul said before Wednesday’s charity softball game he’s happy teammates like Ayton are in a position to get paid, as Ayton expected to receive a max offer from another team, but the 17-year veteran is viewing it from more than just one perspective.
“It’s a business,” Paul said. “What’s good for you may not be good for the next person.”
Rose said Ayton has “performed at an All-Star level,” but since Ayton hasn’t made an All-Star team, Phoenix can be even more dug in against paying him on the max.
In making this point, Rose made reference to Paul.
“Is it because you’re really getting fed by CP3?” Rose asked. in regards to Ayton’s production. I have averaged 17.2 points and 10.2 rebounds this season.
In immediate response, Jacoby said, “that’s how I feel.”
The Suns and Ayton’s representatives couldn’t agree on any rookie extension before the 2021-22 season as Ayton wanted a rookie max extension of five years, $172 million.
“Here’s what happens in the locker room,” Rose continued. “We’re all team, we’re all kumbaya, but here’s what happens in negotiations. CP3 be feeding you.”
The Athletic is reporting Detroit, after trading Jerami Grant to Portland for a first-round pick in 2025, is now “expected” to pursue Ayton.
The Pistons were already a frontrunner to go after Ayton even before making this trade because they have the cap space. By trading Grant, the Pistons now have “roughly $43 million,” The Athletic reported.
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George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism