The Pacers Offering Ayton The Max Is A Disaster For Phoenix’s Play For KD

Deandre Ayton has agreed to sign a four-year, $133 million max offer sheet with the Indiana Pacers, leaving the Suns 48 hours to match, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. If Suns owner Robert Sarver decides otherwise, last year’s no. 1 seed in the Western Conference lose their top pick for nothing. And everyone wants to know how this news impacts the KD sweepstakes. It doesn’t mean a Kevin Durant trade is impossible — it just became far more unlikely, though.

Much less flexibility on Phoenix’s part.

For those that forgot, Ayton and the Suns organization were at a standstill last year because the team didn’t want to commit long term — at least not at the price Indiana just showed us all they’re willing to go. That disagreement led to a frayed relationship and an eventual benching come playoff time. The Suns ultimately waited until the offseason where they planned to get aggressive acquiring talent at other positions, and that’s when Kevin Durant’s request to Phoenix went down. It was the perfect store, at first.

The basketball world shifted their eyes off of Ayton and onto his replacement, Kevin Durant. Rightfully so, but now that the Pacers just forked over $32.5 million per season through the 2026 campaign, Phoenix is now on the clock. They can either match this offer they obviously had no interest in all year or they can figure out a trade in the next two days for KD and let Ayton hit the road to Indiana.

A package to get KD to Phoenix will now certainly include Defensive Player Of The Year candidate Mikal Bridges, Cam Johnson and first round picks out the yang (essentially as many as the NBA will allow, legally). And if this got done, no one in Phoenix will sweat Ayton’s departure. Losing a former no. 1 overall pick for nothing doesn’t sting quite as bad when you have two first-team players in Durant and Booker alongside Chris Paul. It’s not likely this gets done as Brooklyn has maintained the Suns needing far more than their initial offers thus far — a stressful time in Phoenix, for sure. They’re about to match an offer sheet for a player they don’t really want. Guess it could be worse?

Written by Gary Sheffield, Jr

Gary Sheffield Jr is the son of should-be MLB Hall of Famer, Gary Sheffield. He covers basketball and baseball for OutKick.com, chats with the Purple and Gold faithful on LakersNation, and shitposts on Twitter. You can follow him at GarySheffieldJr

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