Deandre Ayton is remaining with the Phoenix Suns for now. The Suns are matching his 4-Year, $133M offer from the Indiana Pacers.
The Suns had two days to match the largest offer sheet in NBA history. If they did not they risked letting the former the No. 1 pick walk away. They decided quickly despite some rumors surfacing that they did not view Ayton as a max contract player as we discussed in our prior report after the Pacers offered Ayton.
In 58 starts this past season, Ayton averaged 17.2 points and 10.2 rebounds. He performed even better when Chris Paul and Devin Booker were taking a break or injured. When Ayton was in the lineup without Paul and Booker he averaged 19 points and 10.6 rebounds. Ayton is a young rising star and the Suns had to make a decision.
What does this mean for Deandre Ayton?
For Deandre Ayton, he isn’t going to the team he signed with but he is getting his money. The Suns likely would have tried to re-sign him for much less when his contract expired. This was a way to force their hand into a much more favorable contract based on the market.
Ayton also avoids moving across the country and having to build chemistry with new players. Most importantly, he stays on a team that will compete for an NBA Championship next season.
What does this mean for the Phoenix Suns?
The Phoenix Suns paid a hefty price but they kept their core together. They have a competitive roster and losing a key piece like Ayton could have been devastating.
This is far from being over. If the Suns regret matching this contract they can trade Ayton after January 15th, 2023. While it is a max contract, Ayton at 24 years old with this extension is valuable.
Prior to this news, Ayton was tied to many trade rumors in regards to Ayton for Kevin Durant. This is very unlikely now. Both the Brooklyn Nets and Phoenix Suns will have to look elsewhere to make a splash this offseason.