After a breakthrough 2020-21 campaign, it appeared that center Deandre Ayton would have no problem getting a rookie max extension from the Phoenix Suns at some point this year. But that now seems less likely as the talks between the two sides have stalled, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
Wojnarowski reports that the Suns are reluctant to give Ayton the same max deal that the rest of the 2018 class, including Luka Doncic (Dallas Mavericks), Trae Young (Atlanta Hawks), Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (Oklahoma City Thunder), and Michael Porter Jr. (Denver Nuggets), received earlier this offseason. This type of extension would see Ayton get $172.5 million guaranteed through five years while also having a chance to bump his earnings to $207 million if he makes an All-NBA Team.
On the other hand, Ayton is unwilling to accept anything less than the max and is not interested in negotiating if this isn’t on the table.
The Suns and Ayton have until October 18th rookie extension deadline to reach an agreement. If that doesn’t happen, the former first overall pick will enter the restricted free agency.
After an underwhelming rookie year with the Suns, Deandre Ayton established himself as one of the better centers in the league in the past two seasons. He was especially productive during Phoenix’s run to the NBA finals in 2020-21, averaging 15.8 points and 11.8 rebounds per game while shooting a historic 66 percent from the field in the postseason.