NBA Rumors: Suns Could Still Trade Deandre Ayton This Season

Ernesto Cova

The Phoenix Suns were one of the best teams in the NBA last season, reaching the Finals for the first time since 1996.

And even though some thought it was just a fluke, they've picked up things right where they left them this season, boasting the second-best record in the NBA.

One would say that they'd want to keep their core together to make another run at a ring, but that doesn't seem to be the case as they couldn't agree on a contract extension with Deandre Ayton.

Ayton Is Disappointed In The Team

Both parties engaged in talks throughout the offseason, with Ayton's camp thinking he was worthy of an extension similar to what Luka Doncic and Trae Young got.

The Suns, however, didn't want to sign him to a max deal:

“I love Phoenix, but I’m really disappointed we haven’t really gotten a deal done yet,” Ayton said, per Fadeaway World. “We were two wins away from winning a championship and I just really want to be respected, to be honest. To be respected like my peers are being respected by their teams. I’ll just let them handle it in the most professional way possible and just control what I can control."


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Suns' GM Explains Why Negotiations Failed

Suns' GM James Jones confirmed that the team offered him three and four-year deals but his agents didn't even entertain the idea:

"For us, unfortunately, we are where we are (with Ayton)," Jones told The Athletic. "No agreement. We didn't have real negotiations.

Ayton's camp wanted a deal worthy of a former first-overall pick and neither party was wiling to cave in:

"You talk about conversations (with Ayton's representatives) — it was five year, max extension like the other peers, the other former No. 1 picks, and that's where the conversation started and ended. Anything less than a five-year max wasn't something to be considered — not something to talk about," Jones added.

Suns Could Consider Moving Ayton

The Suns could try to convince Ayton of taking a shorter deal throughout the season.

Nonetheless, if they feel like he's not going to change his mind, there's still the possibility that they try and move him, according to a report by Heavy.

“The Suns still have a lot of the leverage in this," read the report. "But if they really don’t think the situation is going to change, then yeah, they’d have to consider maybe making a move sooner than later.”

Ayton Will Get Paid In The Offseason

Unsplash | Giorgio Trovato

Even though he's often been overlooked by the rise of Luka Doncic and Trae Young, Ayton has been one of the best young players in the league since his rookie season.

This year, he's putting up averages of 16-0 points, 12.0 rebounds, 1.5 assists, and 1.0 steals per game on 63% shooting and has vastly improved his defense with the years.

Ayton is just 23 years old and, albeit the old-fashioned big man seems like a dying breed around the league, he's still going to draw plenty of interest in free agency.