Reports have circulated that the Phoenix Suns and Deandre Ayton were unable to reach an agreement on a contract extension during the offseason. Despite the contract negotiations not going well, Sean Deveney of Heavy reports that the Suns aren’t shopping the young center.
“That is definitely not the case yet,” one general manager told Deveney. “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.”
Ayton is coming off the strongest year of his then three-year career, taking huge strides defensively and helping the Suns make their way to the NBA Finals. Over his career, Ayton has averages of 15.9 points, 10.6 rebounds and 1.1 blocks per game. Earlier this month, after reports that the team had “reluctance” to offer him a max rookie contract extension and were “stalling discussions,” Ayton commented on the matter.
“I love Phoenix but I’m really disappointed that we haven’t really gotten a deal done yet,” Ayton said. “We were two wins from a championship and I just really want to be respected, to be honest. Be respected like my peers are being respected by their teams.”
The Suns have opened the season 1-2, with Ayton averaging 10.3 points and 8.0 rebounds per game thus far.