A year removed from making the NBA Finals the Phoenix Suns have gotten off to a 1-2 start this season. One of the reasons for the squad’s struggles is some late offseason acrimony that came in relation to Deandre Ayton.
Ayton entered the summer under the impression that he would be receiving a max rookie contract extension worth more than $170 million. Others from his draft class, namely Luka Doncic, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, and Michael Porter Jr., have all gotten one.
Unfortunately, Ayton did not.
This past week, Ayton expressed his frustrations with how the process has gone up to now.
“One thing about me, throughout my whole life, I’ve always learned to control what I can control. At the same time, obviously I’m disappointed, but I’m still trying to get us back to the finals.” #Suns big Deandre Ayton addressing contract talks as they ended w/o an extension. pic.twitter.com/nJPmkUMqCi
— Duane Rankin (@DuaneRankin) October 21, 2021
“One thing about me, throughout my whole life, I’ve always learned to control what I can control,” he said. “At the same time, obviously I’m disappointed, but I’m still trying to get us back to the Finals.”
So where do all parties go from here? Is a trade perhaps in the cards?
“That is definitely not the case yet,” an anonymous GM told Sean Deveney of Heavy.com. “The Suns still have a lot of the leverage in this. But if they really don’t think the situation is going to change, then yeah, they’d have to consider maybe making a move sooner than later.”
Dwyane Wade and Gabrielle Union clearly aren’t shy. https://t.co/XVprdKabks
— Game 7 (@game7__) October 26, 2021
The Suns have their reasons for not offering Ayton the sort of money he wants. Whether those reasons are good or not is a matter of personal opinion.
One way or another, though – this matter needs to get settled. Last year proved that Phoenix has enough talent to compete for a title. But that’s hard to do when you’re distracted.