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RUMOR: Deandre Ayton disrespect puts Suns in huge trouble

Suns, Deandre Ayton, Deandre Ayton contract

The Phoenix Suns failed to reach a contract extension with Deandre Ayton as Monday’s deadline passed. In the process, they also caused a crack in their relationship with the big man.

According to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, Ayton felt disrespected that the Suns don’t see him as a max contract player after his contributions for the past three seasons, particularly in 2020-21 when he became a key cog in their title run.

For what it’s worth, Ayton is also not comparing himself to his fellow draft classmates who earned max contracts from their respective teams. Simply put, he was hurt that Suns did not show their appreciation for what he has done and the growth he has made over the years.

Phoenix now faces an uncertain future with Ayton. The franchise center is unhappy with the franchise’s consistent stance to his representatives that the organization simply didn’t foresee him as a max player — regardless of which of his peers in the 2018 NBA Draft class earned max deals this offseason, sources said.

With the failed contract extension, Deandre Ayton is slated to become a restricted free agent next offseason. It’s almost certain the Suns will extend the qualifying offer to him the 2022 offseason and try to match the offers the big man will receive, but they surely did not put themselves in Ayton’s good graces by how they handled his extension talks.

Will this push Ayton to demand a trade? Or will it lead him to accepting the qualifying offer and then leaving in free agency? There are several possibilities, but in this player empowerment era, the 2018 No. 1 pick can undoubtedly take control of his future.

On the other hand, it is also concerning that the Suns chose to put a question mark on Ayton’s future with the team. Considering that they have high hopes of returning to the NBA Finals, the last thing they want is a distraction that could kill their momentum at any point in the season.