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Suns big man Deandre Ayton’s brutally honest take on failed contract negotiations amid hot start

Deandre Ayton, Suns

Deandre Ayton was eligible for a max extension in the offseason, but the Phoenix Suns failed to give the former first overall pick a big payday. While he will become a restricted free agent next summer, Ayton is only worried about one thing right now: winning.

In a recent interview with Marc Spears of The Undefeated, the big man opened up on how he dealt with the situation:

“It didn’t work out and I got it out of my mind right away,” Ayton said. “What I can do to make it rub in everyone’s faces is to bust my ass, work hard and win games with the Suns. At the end of the day, it’s all about winning. If you want to get something and earn something in this league, you have to be a winner. Do something that leads to winning. Me putting my head down and working is just closing out all of that noise. I’m not really worried about all of that.

“You had the time to do the negotiations. You had a deadline and it didn’t work out. Boom, Bada, Bing. You still got to work. You still got to play in between the lines. Still got to make sure this dude don’t dunk on me, score on me or do something to win the game. Still got to do that. And that’s just my competitive spirit.”

The Suns center was undoubtedly frustrated that he wasn’t rewarded with an extension after he saw fellow draftees Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Luka Doncic, and Trae Young, among others, secure the bag. But, he’s putting all that nonsense behind him and strictly focusing on helping Phoenix return to the NBA Finals.

They’re definitely off to a phenomenal start, recently winning a mind-boggling 18 straight games, which broke a franchise record. Ayton is doing his part as well, averaging 16.3 points and 11.1 rebounds per night in 18 games played.

He may not be putting up the numbers of a number one overall pick quite yet, but Ayton clearly has full confidence in his abilities. His time to get paid handsomely will certainly come sooner rather than later. For the time being, the 23-year-old is chasing a ring.