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#pounditThursday, December 2, 2021

Deandre Ayton gets worrisome news with Suns contract situation

Deandre Ayton in his Suns uniform

Just months after being the starting center for an NBA Finals team, Deandre Ayton is getting some troubling news about his contract situation.

ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported Monday that extension talks between Ayton and the Phoenix Suns have ended without a deal. Wojnarowski adds that Ayton had been expecting a max contract but that Suns owner Robert Sarver failed to offer it.

Monday marked the deadline for the 2018 draft class to receive extensions from their respective teams. Dallas’ Luka Doncic, Denver’s Michael Porter Jr., and Oklahoma City’s Shai Gilgeous-Alexander all came away with max extensions. Ayton’s Suns teammate Mikal Bridges also just got a four-year, $90 million extension from the team (albeit after a lengthy limbo period).

Now that the former No. 1 overall pick Ayton has failed to reach a deal with the Suns, he will become a restricted free agent next offseason. Ayton did recently sound frustrated about his contract negotiations. Now there is the very real possibility that he could leave Phoenix next summer, especially if he feels disrespected that they did not value him as a max-level player.

Photo: 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

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