One of the more intriguing free agency storylines that people are going to follow this offseason is what happens with Deandre Ayton. Ayton, who was the No. 1 overall pick in the 2018 NBA Draft, is heading toward restricted free agency because he and the Suns didn’t agree to a rookie extension before the deadline.
Ayton was dead set on landing a max contract and was not willing to accept anything less than that. Suns ownership did not believe Ayton was worthy of a max contract, so no deal was worked out.
Now, the Suns will likely have to compete with other teams for Ayton’s services as a restricted free agent. While Phoenix can match any offer sheet that he signs, if he is offered a max contract, there are real questions about whether or not they will match the deal.
Has Ayton done enough to warrant a max contract in the eyes of ownership? He is having arguably the best season of his career, picking right up where he left off during the postseason with his performance. Excellent efficiency and anchors defensively are hard to come by, but Ayton provides both for the Suns.
LATEST NBA NEWS & TRADE RUMORS: Deandre Ayton Proving To Be Worth Max Deal For Phoenix Suns
They have found plenty of success even when he isn’t on the court, but it would be a major surprise if the Suns didn’t retain him given the run the team went on in the 2021 postseason and the one they are poised to make this year.
Which teams could prove the biggest threats to the Phoenix Suns to take away Deandre Ayton? Here are three teams that could make a run at him in free agency.