“Deandre Ayton is being lowballed by Phoenix Suns”: 2021 NBA Finalists attempt to play hardball with 2018 no. 1 draft pick

Joe Viju
|Published 05/10/2021

The Phoenix Suns are reluctant to offer former No 1 overall pick Deandre Ayton the max extension, which has now stalled contract discussions.

The Phoenix Suns were coming off a season where they were two wins away from being NBA champions. Deandre Ayton was one of the major reasons why.

He took a jump from his previous season and improved on both sides of the ball. Ayton is now one of the most impressive young big men in the league. He went on to average 15.8 points, 11.8 rebounds, and 1.1 assists per game throughout the playoffs.

With Ayton now getting into his fourth year in the NBA, it was anticipated that the Phoenix Suns and the big would begin extension talks to keep Ayton in Phoenix for the next few years. That was the plan until Adrian Wojnarowski reported that the Suns and Ayton have stalled on contract negotiations about a max extension.

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Why are the Suns reluctant to pay Deandre Ayton?

The “reluctance” to pay 23-year-old big man Deandre Ayton the max can be attributed to another Suns’ player itself. Mikal Bridges has become one of the most integral parts of the Phoenix roster. However, he is also up for an extension soon.

The Suns hierarchy has always been skeptical about going over the salary cap and paying the luxury tax. It seems like that is once again the case.

Although many think that the Suns should be smart and extended both players and deal with the luxury tax, it looks as if the front office is hoping for one of the players to take a pay cut of sorts. If the Suns do not play their cards right, they might risk losing one of two key players.

For a team that is led by 36-year-old floor Chris Paul, the Phoenix Suns’ immediate title window is only going to get smaller.

It would be wise for the Suns to keep the same set of players and run it back. If history has proven anything before, this is a situation the Suns do not want to repeat.

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