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#pounditMonday, July 15, 2024

Deandre Ayton has worrisome comments about his relationship with Suns coach

Deandre Ayton during a game

Apr 19, 2022; Phoenix, Arizona, USA; Phoenix Suns center Deandre Ayton (22) against the New Orleans Pelicans during game two of the first round for the 2022 NBA playoffs at Footprint Center. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The Phoenix Suns are already looking like a toxic cesspool in the very first week of training camp.

Speaking with reporters on Tuesday, Suns center Deandre Ayton made some worrying comments about his relationship with Phoenix head coach Monty Williams. Most notably, Ayton said that he has not spoken with Williams at all since their sideline blow-up in Game 7 of the conference semifinals last season against the Dallas Mavericks.

“I haven’t spoken to Monty,” said the former No. 1 overall pick Ayton. “No, I haven’t spoken to him at all, ever since the game.”

When then asked if he was “happy to be here,” Ayton nonchalantly replied, “Yeah, I’m all right.”

In what may have been an attempt at damage control, Williams, when asked about Ayton’s remarks on Tuesday, said that he had not spoken with a lot of the Suns players since the season ended.

The incident between Ayton and Williams took place during the Mavericks’ dismantling of the Suns in Game 7 of their second-round series (in Phoenix, no less). But that was about four-and-a-half months ago already. It is a bad look for Williams to have waited all that time without clearing the air with Ayton, and it is a bad look for Ayton to bluntly air out the communication issues that he has had with his head coach throughout the offseason.

Neither Ayton nor Williams is going anywhere though. The former signed a four-year, $133 million deal to remain with the Suns this past summer and cannot be traded until Jan. 15, 2023 at a minimum. Meanwhile, the latter also received a long-term contract extension from the team this offseason.

But there is a lot of drama going on with the Suns organization right now. Management is trying to find a trade for frustrated forward Jae Crowder (a staple of Phoenix’s success over the last two seasons), and now-disgraced Suns owner Robert Sarver has begun the process of selling the franchise altogether. Ayton also raised eyebrows with another disgruntled coment earlier this week, meaning we could be in for a long season in Phoenix.


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