KEY POINTS

  • Deandre Ayton is unhappy, placing the Suns' 2021-22 NBA campaign in shallow waters
  • The Suns have until October 18 to offer Ayton a contract extension
  • Ayton may end up being a restricted free agent next summer

The Phoenix Suns are looking to replicate their NBA Finals appearance last season, but the odds are a lot different coming into their next campaign.

This is about Deandre Ayton who has yet to get a max extension deal with the Suns.

Ayton did play a key role for the Suns in the last NBA Finals. Although most credit the efforts of Devin Booker and Chris Paul, the 23-year-old was one of several unsung heroes that helped the franchise perform well in the postseason wars.

Unfortunately, that was not enough to convince the Suns to officially hand the 6-foot-11 player a max deal. However, there is still time.

Phoenix has until Monday, October 18 to do that, NBC Sports noted. If nothing transpires, the California native will become a restricted free agent next offseason.

However, the Suns will still have a say and match any offer pitched to the former Arizona Wildcat.

According to several reports, Suns owner Robert Sarver is allegedly reluctant to hand Ayton a max deal.

Most feel that Ayton has yet to reach that elite level that places him alongside other top players from the 2018 NBA Draft class.

As pointed out by journalist Henry Liao in a column on Our Daily News Online, only four players from the 2018 NBA Draft Class have gotten a rookie max contract extension. That list includes Luka Doncic (Dallas, No. 3), Trae Young (Atlanta, No. 5), Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (Oklahoma City, No. 11) and Michael Porter Jr. (Denver, No. 14).

Ironically, the top two picks (Ayton and Marvin Bagley III), as well as the fifth overall pick Jaren Jackson Jr., have yet to get rookie max contract deals.

Ayton is pretty disappointed at how things are going when he appeared on Arizona Sports 98.7 Suns writer Kellen Olson.

“I love Phoenix but I’m really disappointed that we haven’t really gotten a deal done yet,” he said. “We were two wins from a championship and I just really want to be respected, to be honest. Be respected like my peers are being respected by their teams.”

Deandre Ayton #22 of the Phoenix Suns Deandre Ayton #22 of the Phoenix Suns Photo: Getty Images | Christian Petersen