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#pounditFriday, December 3, 2021

Suns forward has concerning quote about contract situation with team

Mikal Bridges

Deandre Ayton apparently is not the only Phoenix Suns player whose contract situation the team may be bungling right now.

Suns forward Mikal Bridges spoke with reporters on Friday and sounded disheartened about not yet receiving an extension.

“I sit there, just wait every day, keep improving and don’t let it get to me,” he said, per Kellan Olson of The Arizona Republic. “Just gotta wait. I’ve tried to prove as much as I can as time goes on.

“I just want to be here, man,” Bridges went on. “That’s what the whole thing is. I want to be here and it’s up to those guys. Deadline is close so we’ll see.”

The deadline for the Suns to extend Bridges, a fourth-year player, is Oct. 18. That is also the deadline for them to extend Ayton, who was a member of the same draft class. Should Phoenix fail to reach an agreement with either player, they will hit restricted free agency next offseason.

The 25-year-old Bridges earned his keep with the Suns last year. He posted career-highs of 13.5 points, 4.3 rebounds, and 2.1 assists a game on an elite 42.5 percent from deep. Bridges’ length and ability to check dynamic wing scorers also helped anchor Phoenix’s defense during their NBA Finals run.

These comments from Bridges are pretty concerning though, and Ayton’s situation does not sound much better either. That means the Suns run the risk of alienating (and maybe eventually losing) two starters from last year’s Finals squad. But making the team’s players feel insulted would not be out of character for Suns owner Robert Sarver.

Photo: Feb 8, 2020; Phoenix, Arizona, USA; Phoenix Suns forward Mikal Bridges (25) high fives fans while entering the court for the game against the Denver Nuggets at Talking Stick Resort Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jennifer Stewart-USA TODAY Sports

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