Phoenix Suns center DeAndre Ayton has reportedly agreed to an NBA record-setting four-year, $133 million offer sheet with the Indiana Pacers. Now, the Suns find themselves with a bit of an ultimatum, having to decide whether or not to match the deal and commit that amount of money to the former No. 1 overall pick. According to Adrian Wojnarowski, the Suns' current stance on the matter is that they're expected to match Ayton's offer sheet from the Pacers.
So far, Suns haven't shown an interest in negotiating a sign-and-trade on Ayton with the Pacers, but the expectation remains that Phoenix will match the record-$133M offer sheet once it's signed, sources tell ESPN. Suns could trade Ayton as soon as Jan. 15 once sheet is matched.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) July 14, 2022
Wojnarowksi indicates that the Suns have no intentions of negotiating a sign-and-trade of Ayton with the Pacers. If the Suns do match his $133 million offer sheet, Phoenix will be unable to trade Ayton until January 15, 2023. Woj also notes that Ayton would have the ability to veto any trade for a full year if the Suns match the offer sheet.
The Suns will have two days to officially match the offer sheet once it's signed. The Pacers will have to clear a bit of cap space in order to actually present this offer to Ayton, as he'll be making $30.9 million per season under the new terms.
After failing to reach an agreement with Ayton ahead of free agency, the Suns have lost their leverage in contract negotiations and will now be forced to either match the Pacers' offer or watch their former No. 1 pick walk away with no return.
As of now, it seems more likely that the Suns will match the deal and keep Ayton in town, rather than watch him join the Pacers on what would be a record-setting offer sheet contract.