After the Phoenix Suns allowed the rookie max extension deadline to pass last night without offering DeAndre Ayton a deal, the big man has skipped today’s media availability. Not to get involved in another man’s pockets, but does this generation have any other way to deal with conflict other than stomping their feet?
I guess Scottie Pippen did this too. Maybe athletes forget player pay, and payroll in general, is largely dictated on what your boss can get away with? According to this week’s developments, the Suns don’t think the former no. 1 overall pick is worth the five-year, $200+ million extension. Considering this is the Phoenix Suns who just got good for the first time in ages, pay the man.
DeAndre Ayton skipped media availability today 😬 pic.twitter.com/sTDomZzpTq
— NBA Central (@TheNBACentral) October 19, 2021
Reports from ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski say Ayton has expressed his unhappiness with Suns owner Robert Sarver. But what’s troubling, at least for the Suns, is that they just won the Western Conference. Now suddenly the team forks over a $120 extension for 36-year-old Chris Paul, a four-year $90 million contract to Mikal Bridges, and signed Landry Shamet to a $43 million deal before they took care of Ayton, who was a key contributor last season?
That’s a bold move, however it’s more telling to Robert Sarver’s ineptitude. Cap space is no excuse for the Suns either because the “Larry Bird” rule will allow the Suns to exceed the cap to keep Ayton in the desert. The team is essentially withholding their money because they want to.
DeAndre Ayton averaged 16.3 points per game and over 10 rebounds last season and is due to become a restricted free agent this upcoming off-season, so we can expect teams to line up for his services. Either way, a mega pay-day is on the horizon. It’s just a matter of who’s signing the checks.