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RUMOR: Suns’ real Deandre Ayton trade plan after failed extension

Suns, Deandre Ayton

Deandre Ayton is disappointed the Phoenix Suns didn’t offer him his desired max contract extension prior to the start of the 2021-22 season, which is why there are talks whether the team plans to trade him or not.

Apparently, the Suns don’t view Ayton as a max contract player–which obviously didn’t make Ayton happy. While that is the case, however, it doesn’t mean the team doesn’t want to keep him.

According to Sean Deveney of Heavy.com, one NBA general manager told him that it doesn’t seem the Suns have plans to put Ayton on the trading block for now. Nonetheless, the said exec didn’t close the door on the potential of that happening, especially if the 2018 NBA Draft top pick remains dissatisfied with his situation in Arizona.

“That is definitely not the case yet,” the anonymous GM said. “The Suns still have a lot of the leverage in this. But if they really don’t think the situation is going to change, then yeah, they’d have to consider maybe making a move sooner than later.”

Deandre Ayton will be a restricted free agent in 2022 after his failed extension, which means he can find the deal he wants and the Suns can match it. This basically means the team has complete control of Ayton’s future for now.

If Ayton accepts his qualifying offer from the Suns next season, though, he would become an unrestricted free agent in 2023. Should that happen, it might be difficult for Phoenix to retain him given the crack in their relationship that the recent extension talks have caused.

For now, Ayton remains a Sun and third-best player on the team behind Devin Booker and Chris Paul. He has a chance to prove his value and show the Phoenix front office that they made a mistake snubbing him.