Robert Sarver To Blame For Deandre Ayton’s Suns Rift?

Deandre Ayton, Phoenix Suns, NBA Rumors
NBA Analysis Network

The Phoenix Suns have had a tumultuous few weeks following the announcement of the punishment by the NBA that was being levied against owner Robert Sarver following the investigation that was launched.

After displeasure was voiced about the one-year suspension and $10 million fine that he was handed, Sarver began the process of selling the team.

Removing Sarver from his position is something that needed to be done. There is no space for what he was doing in the workplace and he doesn’t deserve to retain ownership of the team after what was found in the investigation.

His eventually departing from the franchise could also be a chance for the organization to reconcile their relationship with starting center, Deandre Ayton. There were some tense negotiations held with Ayton since the 2021 offseason when he was eligible for a rookie extension.

LATEST NBA NEWS & TRADE RUMORS: Deandre Ayton & Phoenix Suns Updates

The No. 1 overall pick in the 2018 NBA Draft was seeking a max contract. That was something that the Suns were unwilling to pay as they didn’t believe he was worth that kind of money.

Ayton and his representation knew they could find a max deal and were proven correct when he signed an offer sheet with the Indiana Pacers. It was a record offer sheet of four years and $133 million.

Surprisingly, Phoenix quickly matched the offer despite hesitancy and downright refusal to pay Ayton a max for nearly a year. There may not be a person that has ever been less happy than Ayton to sign a contract worth that much money.

LATEST NBA NEWS & TRADE RUMORS: Deandre Ayton & Phoenix Suns Updates

It certainly created some awkwardness and hurt feelings, which Ramon Shelbourne delved into recently while making an appearance on ESPN’s NBA Today. According to Shelburne, it is Sarver whom Ayton blames for not receiving a max contract and for how things were handled.

“Does he blame Robert Sarver? My understanding from talking to people close to Deandre is that he thinks this was Robert Sarver’s decision as well.”

LATEST NBA NEWS & TRADE RUMORS: Deandre Ayton & Phoenix Suns Updates

With Sarver heading out the door, there could be a chance for the franchise to rebuild the relationship and trust with their former No. 1 overall pick. Alas, there are certainly some more hurdles to overcome, as Ayton revealed he has not spoken to head coach Monty Williams since the last game played.