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#pounditFriday, January 27, 2023

Deandre Ayton agrees to massive offer sheet with Eastern Conference team

Deandre Ayton looks ahead

Jan 3, 2020; Phoenix, Arizona, USA; Phoenix Suns center Deandre Ayton (22) against the New York Knicks at Talking Stick Resort Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Deandre Ayton is getting the huge contract he sought, and looks like he will be departing the Phoenix Suns as well.

As first reported by ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, Ayton has agreed to a four-year, $133 million maximum offer sheet with the Indiana Pacers. The Suns will have 48 hours to match the offer sheet or let Ayton go.

Ayton signing an offer sheet with Indiana essentially takes a sign-and-trade off the table. Restricted free agents cannot be part of a sign-and-trade deal once they have signed an offer sheet with another team, so the Suns will ultimately have to either keep Ayton until at least next January or lose him to the Pacers now for nothing.

Indiana had quickly established itself as Ayton’s likely landing spot recently. The Suns do not appear to value Ayton as a max player, so the most likely scenario may be that they simply let him walk.

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