Deandre Ayton on Suns free-agent status: ‘We’re disappointed’

Phoenix Suns center Deandre Ayton enters this NBA offseason as a restricted free agent.

There’s a chance Deandre Ayton played his last game in a Phoenix Suns Uniform.

Since the Suns didn’t extend the five-year rookie-scale max extension for Ayton prior to last season, the former Arizona No. 1 overall could play for a new team next year. Though Phoenix has the ability to match any offer sheet he receives in his limited free agency, Ayton’s agent Bill Duffy explained how disappointed they are in the Suns right now.

“We are disappointed. We wanted a maximum contract,” Duffy said on SiriusXM. “He went out and was a soldier all year, played well, improved his stats. So we’re proud of him. A lot of people handle things differently, but he was very mature for it… It will work out for Deandre. He’s a valuable player. There are other teams in the league too. He’s a restricted free agent so we’ll see how that process unfolds.”

Here’s the entire clip of Duffy speaking to SiriusXM last week while in Chicago.

Deandre Ayton’s agent expressed his disappointment with the Phoenix Suns contract saga

Phoenix could have had anyone in 2018 NBA draft. They had the No. 1 overall pick and chose the Bahamian native, who attended his high school prom at The Valley and the U of A in Tucson. Duffy’s other client Luka Doncic went two picks later to the Atlanta Hawks, who traded his draft rights to the Dallas Mavericks for Trae Young, who went 5th overall.

There are other outstanding players from this particular draft, but Doncic and Young are their shining stars up to this point NBA Career. Ayton has improved tremendously in his last two seasons in Phoenix. However, he is at best the third most important player in this core of the Suns behind veteran point guard Chris Paul and aspiring superstar shooting guard Devin Booker.

Could Ayton return to the Suns with a new deal? Absolutely, but it would have to be on her terms. Ayton and Duffy should still try to get the best offer hand out there and hope the Suns match. However, Ayton and his camp will struggle to find a better basketball situation than the one down at The Valley. Welcome to the wonderful world of limited freedom of choice.

Ayton is paid but it remains to be seen whether the bag will come from the Suns or not. Deandre Ayton on Suns free-agent status: ‘We’re disappointed’

John Verrall

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