Phoenix Suns head coach Monty Williams is truly an amazing figure on and off the court. As intense as he could be in drawing plays and making his team improve very well, he still has a soft heart that touches each and everyone in the NBA world.
As such, a testament of his empathetic atmosphere is Deandre Ayton.
Williams delivered his sentiments about Deandre Ayton’s contract issue. In an interview with Sam Amick of The Athletic, the 50-year-old mentor was asked about his perspective on the contract issue of the young big man and if there could be a long-term impact that will be produced forward.
“Yeah, I don’t believe there will be because you still get to play ball. We all still get paid. For me — and I can’t speak for anybody else — my goal is to help guys win and get paid. So when a guy doesn’t get what he wants, and [the two sides] don’t agree, I take that like I didn’t do enough, you know what I’m saying? Like that’s my job. And that’s how I look at it.
“I heard all the stuff [about Ayton’s situation], and I’ve been privy to information and conversations. But for me, as a leader on the floor, that’s what I take seriously. Now I’m not the reason guys get paid. But when they don’t get what they want, or negotiations go awry, I’m like ‘Well, how do I help them out?’ because that’s my job is — to help that guy achieve all those goals. That’s how I look at it.”– Suns head coach Monty Williams (via Sam Amick of The Athletic)
And when questioned if there’s a moment when he inquired Ayton if they are still ‘on the same page’ after all the drama, Williams stated he is just straightforward with Ayton and that concern is not part of his job as a tactician.
“I’ve never had that with him. He and I have always been pretty straight. You know, he knows how much I care about him — I tell him. I tell all of our guys how much I care about them. I love them. Why should that situation be different than any other? That’s not my deal. I don’t do that. I do the X’s and O’s.
The primary story of the Suns before the tip-off of the league’s 75th season was about Ayton’s contract extension. It was reported then that the franchise is reluctant on giving the 2018 No. 1 Overall pick his desired max contract extension. As a result, the two sides didn’t agree upon their terms as the signing deadline finally had reached — thus making the center a restricted free agent for the next offseason.
Things may have been complicated so far on the side of Ayton and Phoenix, but the accountability that Williams demonstrated is a comforting gesture — only shows that he is more than just a coach. His willingness to help can be a motivating factor for Ayton to strive harder and get the huge bag he thinks he deserves.
So far, Ayton is on a familiar 13.0 points and 11.3 rebounds average in four meetings so far with the Suns. His presence moving forward will be much needed by the Valley, as his spectacular performance in his first playoff run recently was noteworthy. He will continue to bloom and improve, and sky’s the limit for his capabilities to be molded as a prototype center.