Suns star Deandre Ayton breaks silence after failed contract extension talks
The Phoenix Suns dealt with some drama ahead of the 2021-22 season in the form of Deandre Ayton contract extension talks. The two sides failed to come to an agreement because the Suns wouldn’t make a five-year max offer.
Suns general manager James Jones spoke about the negotiations during the season-opening loss to the Denver Nuggets on Wednesday night, again claiming they just couldn’t agree on the number of years. After the game, Ayton broke his silence on the situation and expressed his disappointment:
"One thing about me, throughout my whole life, I've always learned to control what I can control. At the same time, obviously I'm disappointed, but I'm still trying to get us back to the finals." #Suns big Deandre Ayton addressing contract talks as they ended w/o an extension. pic.twitter.com/nJPmkUMqCi
— Duane Rankin (@DuaneRankin) October 21, 2021
It’s certainly understandable for Ayton to be disappointed. He sacrificed his numbers for the good of the team last season and became one of the best two-way bigs in the NBA as the Suns made a run to the NBA Finals. At just 23 years old, he still has room to get even better and should be a dominant force for a long time. Ayton expected to get a full max offer like several other of his peers in Luka Doncic, Trae Young, Michael Porter Jr. and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander.
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But the way the Suns tell it, they only were willing to offer a shorter max deal and not the full five-year max. Jones recently claimed this had nothing to do with cheapness but because of keeping flexibility for a potential superstar trade in the future.
Either way, Ayton isn’t going to be unprofessional about all this during the season. As he said, his focus is on getting the Suns back to the NBA Finals, and then winning it this time.
Unfortunately, things didn’t go well on Wednesday night against Denver. After building a 16-point lead late in the first half, Phoenix got dominated the rest of the way in a 110-98 loss. Ayton had 15 points and six rebounds in 33 minutes.