Just months after being the starting center for an NBA Finals team, Deandre Ayton got some troubling news about his contract situation.
ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported Monday that extension talks between Ayton and the Phoenix Suns have ended without a deal. Wojnarowski adds that Ayton was expecting a max contract but Suns owner Robert Sarver failed to offer it.
Monday marked the deadline for the 2018 draft class to receive extensions from their respective teams. Dallas’ Luka Doncic, Denver’s Michael Porter Jr. and Oklahoma City’s Shai Gilgeous-Alexander all came away with max extensions. Ayton’s Suns teammate Mikal Bridges also just got a four-year, $90 million extension from the team (albeit after a lengthy limbo period).
Now that the former No. 1 overall pick has failed to reach a deal with the Suns, he will become a restricted free agent next offseason. Ayton did recently sound frustrated about his contract negotiations. Now there is the very real possibility that he could leave Phoenix next summer, especially if he feels disrespected that the Suns do not value him as a max-level player.