Phoenix Suns match Indiana Pacers offer to Deandre Ayton
Ricky Gray | July 15, 2022
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It's up to Ayton now on where he'll decide to play next season.
It wasn’t much of a shock that the Suns matched the offer, but how fast they matched it was surprising. After the Indiana Pacers sent over a max contract for Ayton to review, the Suns matched it.
This four-year, $133m offer could see Ayton return to the Suns or move on and play in Indiana. The choice at this point is up to Ayton and what he’s more concerned with. The Suns are definitely a championship-level team, but the Pacers would build a team around him.
Most believe that the Suns matching the contract will end Ayton’s interest in the Pacers. However, having an entire team built around you is quite a draw.
Phoenix showed no inclination to negotiate a sign-and-trade agreement with Indiana. However, the Suns can still trade Ayton if they see fit but they’ll have to wait until January 15. This essentially takes any trade with the Brooklyn Nets for Kevin Durant off of the table.
Ayton turns 24 next week and was drafted as the No.1 pick in the 2018 draft out of Arizona. He made the All-Rookie first team in 2019 and has established himself as a strong starting center.
This season, Ayton averaged 17.2 points and 10.2 rebounds, shooting 63.4% from the field and 74.6% from the foul line.
The Suns, although a great team during the regular season, have struggled in the postseason. During the 2021-22 postseason, they lost quickly to the Dallas Mavericks, Ayton declined to talk to reporters after the game.
We’ll have to wait and see if the Suns make any more moves during the offseason.