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Saturday, May 18, 2024

Is Deandre Ayton Heading For A Phoenix Sunset?

  • Last summer, the Suns passed on giving the 2018 No. 1 pick a five-year rookie max extension worth $207 million.
  • Now a restricted free agent, several teams are ready to put down an offer sheet that Phoenix might not be able to match.
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The Suns were able to brush off questions about Deandre Ayton’s future in a superb regular season, but after another postseason failure — this time in an embarrassing Game 7 rout at home — the urgency is mounting.

On Monday, Adrian Wojnarowski reported that Ayton doesn’t feel “valued” by the organization — and that several teams are ready to put down an offer sheet that Phoenix might not be able to match.

The Suns passed on giving the 2018 No. 1 pick (career 16.3 PPG, 10 RPG, 60% FG) a five-year rookie max extension worth $207 million with incentives. That means he’ll be a restricted free agent this summer — and with Phoenix already committing large contracts to other players, the 23-year-old could be as good as gone.

  • Phoenix already has $128.3 million on the books for next season.
  • When Devin Booker inevitably makes an All-NBA team, he’ll be eligible for a four-year, $211M supermax extension — the largest in Suns history.
  • Chris Paul will be on the payroll for the next three years for $90M.

The Suns are also paying Mikal Bridges ($90M) and Landry Shamet ($43M) over the next four years — making Ayton’s claims of being undervalued even more substantial.

Phoenix can match any offer Ayton receives, but with restricted cap space and lacking a score-first player to complement Booker, maybe it’s best for both parties to move on.

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