Deandre Ayton is currently eligible for a rookie contract extension with the Phoenix Suns.
Based on the rules, Ayton can sign a $172.5 million extension that could reach $207 million with escalators. The deadline to get extensions on rookie contracts done is Oct. 18 – less than a week from now.
Thus far, Phoenix has been reluctant to give Ayton a max extension.
During a recent session with reporters, Ayton got brutally honest about the drama surrounding his Suns future.
Deandre Ayton addresses contract talks, saying he’s “disappointed” a deal hasn’t gotten done and he wants to be respected like his peers as ESPN reported last week contract talks were stalled over getting rookie max extension. #Suns pic.twitter.com/XVtj06fojN
— Duane Rankin (@DuaneRankin) October 12, 2021
“I love Phoenix but I’m really disappointed that we haven’t really gotten a deal done yet,” he said.
“I mean, we were two wins away from a championship. I just really want to be respected, to be honest. Be respected like my peers are being respected by their teams and just keep it like that. I’ll just let them handle it in the most professional way possible and just control what I can control.”
Last year Ayton averaged 14.4 points, 10.5 rebounds, and 1.6 blocks per game. Whether that is deserving of a max rookie extension is a matter of opinion. For context: Luka Doncic, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, and Michael Porter Jr. have all gotten one.
Dodgers vs Giants is a very exciting series. https://t.co/OPpiG1Tcsa
— Game 7 (@game7__) October 13, 2021
Obviously Ayton isn’t Doncic, and regret over not taking the Mavericks star may play a role in what’s currently going on. After all, just this week, a story emerged about the real reason for why Phoenix selected Ayton over Doncic in the 2018 NBA Draft.
That said, Ayton is still a very good player – and a key piece of last year’s NBA Finals team. Will he ultimately get rewarded for that with this rookie extension? Time will tell.