EDITORS Note: The Phoenix Suns have reportedly matched the record offer sheet the Pacers made to Deandre Ayton on Thursday, per Adrian Wojnarowski.
As soon as the Suns received the four-year, $133M offer sheet, the franchise matched it. Deandre Ayton returns to Phoenix and can't be traded without his consent for a full year. https://t.co/dBXGN3qbCK— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) July 15, 2022
Deandre Ayton has reportedly signed a four-year max offer sheet with the Indiana Pacers, according to NBA insider Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.
RFA center Deandre Ayton has agreed to a four-year, $133M maximum offer sheet with the Indiana Pacers, his agents Nima Namakian (Innovate Sports) and Bill Duffy (BDA Sports + WME Sports) tell ESPN. The Phoenix Suns have 48 hours to match the largest offer sheet in NBA history.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) July 14, 2022
Ayton’s agent, Nima Namakian, negotiated the largest offer sheet in League history for Ayton to head to Indiana. Free agency talks between Ayton’s reps and the Suns’ front office have been up and down after multiple reports said that Phoenix thought they could find another center that offered what Ayton could do on the court. Phoenix reportedly sent him a qualifying offer on the eve of free agency.
Last summer, the two parties couldn’t agree on a deal to keep Ayton on Phoenix. Since then, GM James Jones publicly stated he was confident that Phoenix could bring Ayton back to the fold. Duane Rankin of the Arizona Republic subsequently reported that multiple teams were interested in acquiring Ayton before Indiana emerged as the favorite to sign him in May.
Woj further reported that Phoenix seemed unlikely to want to send Ayton to Indiana via sign-and-trade but is likely to match the offer that the Pacers extended. The Suns have 48 hours before deciding on matching the largest offer sheet in NBA history. If they do, Phoenix could trade Ayton as soon as January 15.
So far, Suns haven’t shown an interest in negotiating a sign-and-trade on Ayton with the Pacers, but the expectation remains that Phoenix will match the record-$133M offer sheet once it’s signed, sources tell ESPN. Suns could trade Ayton as soon as Jan. 15 once sheet is matched.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) July 14, 2022
Ayton averaged 17.2 points and 10.2 rebounds per game on 63.4 percent shooting from the field.