Deandre Ayton, Suns in stalemate over max rookie contract extension, per report

Among the many many vivid spots inside the Phoenix Suns‘ run to the NBA Finals was the expansion of 2018 No. 1 general decide Deandre Ayton, who confirmed an amazing quantity of hustle and energy on each ends of the ground. All through the playoffs he averaged 15.8 factors, 11.8 rebounds, one block and shot an especially environment friendly 65.8 % from the sphere. 

Ayton, who’s eligible for a five-year, $172.5 million extension that would attain $207 million, was an important piece in Phoenix’s playoff run a season in the past, so it is slightly shocking to listen to that, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the Suns aren’t ponying as much as give Ayton the max rookie extension that others in his draft class acquired this summer season. 

Gamers like Luka Doncic, Trae Young, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Michael Porter Jr. all acquired rookie scale extensions reaching into the $200 million mark, and Ayton feels he is deserving of that very same deal, per Wojnarowski. However apparently the Suns do not feel the identical means:

“…Sources mentioned the talks between the Suns and Ayton’s representatives are slowed by possession’s present assertion that Ayton would not need to be included in that group of gamers.”

That is a tricky capsule to swallow if you happen to’re Ayton, particularly after a playoff run he had a giant hand in facilitating on a workforce that hadn’t been there in a decade. However when you think about that the Suns are owned by Robert Sarver, who’s seen negatively across the league, then Phoenix being reluctant to spend cash on Ayton makes extra sense. Sarver’s tenure because the Suns proprietor has been full of ups and downs, however the lows over time have been what’s caught to his fame as a workforce proprietor who makes poor transactions and draft strikes. He additionally hasn’t paid luxurious tax because the 2009-10 season.

One of many worst strikes throughout Sarver’s tenure was permitting Joe Johnson to stroll in restricted free company after he simply averaged a profession excessive for a Suns workforce that was recent off a Western Convention finals look in 2005. Phoenix was one of the dominant groups within the league at the moment with the core of Steve Nash and Amar’e Stoudemire, and protecting Johnson might’ve gotten them a championship. 

Failing to construct title contenders when he is had strong gamers has type of been Sarver’s calling card, and after lastly getting it proper this season with the trio of Chris Paul, Devin Booker and Ayton,  along with the teaching wizardry of Monty Williams, it will solely make sense to maintain that core intact for years to return. 

But clearly that is not what the Suns brass is pondering at this second, which, frankly, looks as if a giant misstep if it would not get discovered. Coming into the league, Ayton was seen as a participant who was missing in effort on the defensive facet of the ball, however throughout the Finals he was clearly motivated and dedicated in that space. 

When Ayton was tasked with guarding reigning Finals MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo, he held him to simply 48.4 % from the sphere. Examine that to him capturing over 70 % on nearly each different defender the Suns put in entrance of him and it is clear to see that Ayton made an affect on Antetokounmpo when he was guarding him. 

He is proven a capability to carry his personal when he is switched onto guards on the perimeter, and although there’s nonetheless room for progress on that finish of the ground, his dedication to bettering in that space of his recreation was on full show final season.

On offense, Ayton was the best pick-and-roll massive man for Paul and Booker, and although he acquired fewer shot makes an attempt final season, he skilled essentially the most environment friendly capturing season of his profession from the ground, together with 40 % from midrange. 

There’s quite a bit to love about Ayton’s enchancment in three seasons, and the leap he took throughout the 2020-21 season needs to be sufficient for the Suns to commit massive cash to him. If the 2 sides do not come to an settlement by the Oct. 18 deadline, then Ayton will head for restricted free company subsequent summer season. Maybe the Suns need this to function gas for Ayton to get much more out of him as they attempt to get again to the Finals this yr, and so they’ll be capable to match any provide he will get subsequent summer season. 

Nevertheless, given Sarver’s observe report for not at all times valuing expertise when it is time to pay them, there is a small probability this might flip bitter and Ayton might determine he now not desires to play for the Suns. We’ll have to attend and see if the Suns in the end cave and provides Ayton the max contract he desires, or if he’ll enter the season as an impending restricted free agent with one thing to show to Sarver and the remainder of the entrance workplace. | Deandre Ayton, Suns in stalemate over max rookie contract extension, per report


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