Suns’ Chris Paul reacts to failed Deandre Ayton contract extension talks
Phoenix Suns point guard Chris Paul opened up about owner Robert Sarver’s controversial decision not to offer 23-year old center DeAndre Ayton a rookie-scale max extension before the deadline on Monday.
The 2018 No. 1 overall pick — who helped lead Phoenix to the 2021 NBA Finals — was reportedly expecting an offer, but it never came. Ayton expressed his disappointment about the development. He can still re-sign with the Suns in restricted free agency after fielding offers from around the league.
“My biggest advice for him is: control what you can control and that’s how you go out and hoop,” Paul said, per AZ Central’s Duane Rankin. “Things happen, the business of the game, but I know DA’s heart … and how competitive he is. At the end of the day, he wants to do a good job for our team. And I appreciate him for that. I know when we step out on the court tonight, it’s going to be all about what he’s gotta do to help our team win.”
Paul was asked if that type of compartmentalization is easier said than done.
“Sometimes it is. But that’s life.”
You can see his full comments on the Ayton situation here:
"Control what you can control."
— Duane Rankin (@DuaneRankin) October 20, 2021
Ayton was eligible for a five-year, $172.5 million deal that could reach $207 million with incentives. Instead, he’ll earn $12.6 million in 2021-22 on the final year of his rookie contract.
Alternatively, the Suns inked Paul to a new $120 million deal this past offseason, and signed Ayton’s fellow 2018 draftee, Mikal Bridges, to a $90 million rookie max before the deadline. The franchise also signed Landry Shamet to a four-year, $43 million extension this week.
In three seasons, Ayton’s averaged 16.0 points, 10.6 rebounds, and 1.2 blocks per game on 58.5% shooting. He averaged 15.8 points and 11.8 rebounds on 65.8% shooting in the 2021 playoffs.
Phoenix opens their 2021-22 season at home against the Denver Nuggets.