Phoenix Suns were not interested in offering a max-contract to Deandre Ayton, team’s general manager James Jones said on the Burns and Gambo Show (via Kella Olson of Arizona Sports).
Jones explained the reason behind the Suns’ decision, claiming it’s based on roster construction preference. The Suns offered to Mikal Bridges, who was also drafted with Ayton in the 2018 draft, a four-year, $90 million deal.
Ayton will be a restricted free-agent next summer, coming off a 2021 NBA Finals run with the Suns. He posted 14.4 points, 10.5 rebounds and 1.2 blocks a night for Phoenix last season.
The Suns will have the ability to match any offer for Ayton, keeping their cap flexibility at least for next summer. The 2018 NBA draft first overall pick with the franchise seems uncertain, being one of the few 2018 top prospects to not sign an extension.
Numerous players from that class, including Luka Doncic, Trae Young, Wendell Carter Jr., Mikal Bridges, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Michael Porter Jr., have received deals.