Thursday, December 2

Why Deandre Ayton, Suns have yet to agree on maximum contract length

Last season, the Suns scored two victories before capturing the first championship in franchise history, but their unexpected run to the 2021 NBA Finals served as a major step forward for a team that hadn’t made the playoffs. since 2010. The front office kept up the good vibes with a strong offseason, which included a lucrative new contract for All-Star point guard Chris Paul.

But there’s a lingering question in the background as Phoenix tries to build a 51-win season: Why haven’t the Suns given Deandre Ayton a contract extension yet?

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The 23-year-old center emerged as a key part of Phoenix’s core in his third season, and had several impressive performances during his first trip to the NBA playoffs. It was widely expected that the conversation about an extension deal between the Suns and Ayton wouldn’t last long considering he should only continue to improve with coach Monty Williams.

And yet, with the start of the 2021-22 campaign fast approaching, discussions have stalled. What’s going on in Phoenix?

Why Deandre Ayton hasn’t signed a maximum extension with the Suns

Ayton is eligible to sign a five-year, $ 172.5 million extension that could reach $ 207 million, but the Suns ownership believes that Ayton does not belong on the same level as Luka Doncic, Trae Young and other maximum extension candidates of the League. 2018 NBA Draft class., according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. Ayton does not plan to sign for anything less than the maximum due to “his performance, his potential and the market,” according to Wojnarowski.

The deadline for rookie extensions is October 18, the day before the start of the 2021-22 regular season. If Ayton doesn’t sign a deal by that deadline, he could enter restricted free agency next summer and sign an offer sheet with another team. Phoenix would have equivalent rights, but it may not necessarily be able to lock up Ayton in the long run. Also, Ayton could harbor some feelings of resentment if the Suns choose to go down that path.

Suns Property Questions

If Suns owner Robert Sarver refuses to give Ayton the treatment he wants, the decision would only reinforce the belief that Sarver is unwilling to spend a lot of money building a competitive roster.

Sarver hasn’t paid the luxury tax since 2010, the last year Phoenix made the postseason before the team earned a playoff spot in 2021. Even before that long stretch, Sarver had earned a reputation as an owner. cheap, especially failing to retain Joe Johnson in 2005 after averaging 17.1 points per game for a Suns team that reached the Western Conference finals.

“I punished myself for that because we were in a position where that piece could have helped us extend our opportunity to race for a longer period of time,” Sarver said in 2014 (via The Arizona Republic).

Now Sarver finds himself in a similar situation. He has to make a call not only to Ayton, but also to the promising young man Mikal Bridges. Assembling an NBA winner can get expensive pretty quickly. We will soon find out if Sarver is willing to pay what it costs to maintain a championship-caliber team.

Suns react to Deandre Ayton news

Monty williams

“It’s not my job to pay a man. If it was my job, everyone would be rich. I would pay everyone. The limit is not based on my heart. You know what I’m saying? The organization would be bankrupt. “. , but everyone would be happy … It’s a new world. We just have to navigate through it. “

Chris paul

“I’m not worried. That’s the business of the game. Those contract conversations happen as players, agents, all of that. We have Mikal Bridges. [up for an extension], another guy who is a big part of our team, so hopefully those things will work out just so we can get back to playing and doing what we do. “

Deandre Ayton Stats 2020-21

Regular seasonPer game Playoffs
62.6Field goal %65.8

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