Suns’ Deandre Ayton ‘Disappointed’ With Stalling Contract Talks

Deandre Ayton, Phoenix Suns, NBA News
NBA Analysis Network

The Phoenix Suns and center Deandre Ayton have been discussing a contract extension leading up to the 2021-22 NBA regular season. It seemed like negotiations would be seamless, especially after how well he and the Suns played in the postseason.

Ayton was an integral part of the team advancing to the NBA Finals over the summer. They fell short, losing the series 4-2 to the Milwaukee Bucks, but Ayton played very well.

The No. 1 overall pick from the 2018 NBA Draft established himself as one of the best up-and-coming centers in the NBA during the postseason run. He got the job done on both ends of the court, averaging 15.8 points, 11.8 rebounds, 1.1 assists, 0.8 steals, and 1.1 blocks in 36.4 minutes per game.

As a key piece of the Phoenix Suns’ core, it seemed like a no-brainer that Ayton would receive a max extension. Well, the organization seemed like they had other plans, as contract negotiations have stalled.

LATEST NBA NEWS & RUMORS: Suns’ Deandre Ayton Reacts To Stalled Contract Talks

With the deadline for extensions being the eve of the regular season, Ayton and the team have less than a week to hammer out a deal. He is disappointed things have gotten to where they have during negotiations.

“I love Phoenix, but I’m really disappointed we haven’t really gotten a deal done yet,” Ayton said after Tuesday’s training camp in Phoenix. “We were two wins away from winning a championship and I just really want to be respected, to be honest. To be respected like my peers are being respected by their teams. I’ll just let them handle it in the most professional way possible and just control what I can control.”

The respect of his peers that he references can be directly correlated to other players from his draft class who have received max extensions. Luka Doncic, Trae Young, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, and Michael Porter Jr. all signed max rookie-scale extensions.

LATEST NBA NEWS & RUMORS: Suns’ Deandre Ayton Reacts To Stalled Contract Talks

Once Deandre Ayton saw those deals being signed, there was very little chance he would accept anything less from Phoenix. Only 23-years old, Ayton is just scratching the surface of his potential. He is already productive and could see his role increase even more this season.

The Phoenix Suns would be taking a major risk if they allow Deandre Ayton to reach restricted free agency next offseason and don’t hammer out a deal before the deadline next week.