Deandre Ayton 'really disappointed' Phoenix Suns haven't reached deal on new contract
Deandre Ayton made his point.
The Suns big man addressed his contract talks with the Suns for the first time since ESPN reported last week they had stalled over the franchise being reluctant to offer the five-year rookie max extension of $172.5 million.
The deadline to complete a rookie extension deal is Oct. 18.
"I love Phoenix, but I'm really disappointed we haven't really gotten a deal done yet," Ayton said after Tuesday's training camp practice. "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."
Ayton is referring to Luka Doncic (Dallas Mavericks), Trae Young (Atlanta Hawks), Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (Oklahoma City Thunder) and Michael Porter Jr. (Denver Nuggets). All four have received rookie max extensions going into this season.
Doncic and Ayton are under the same agency in BDA Sports Management.
Like those four, Ayton is up for a rookie max extension along with his Suns' teammate Mikal Bridges, as both were first round picks in the 2018 draft.
Ayton, the top overall selection in 2018 out of Arizona, blossomed in the 2021 playoffs, posting 14 double-doubles. The Suns went 10-4 in those games.
"Give that man his bread," said ESPN NBA analyst and NBA champion Kendrick Perkins before the Suns preseason road win Sunday over the Los Angeles Lakers.
The Suns have one allotted spot for a rookie max contract available, with two-time All-Star Devin Booker having the other one filled.
"I'll just let them handle it in the most professional way possible and just control what I can control," Ayton said, who is entering the final year of his initial four-year deal.
Despite the contract negotiations not going to his liking, Ayton is still interacting and having fun with his teammates.
"The relationships I have on this team will never change regardless of whatever the outcome is," Ayton said. "At the same time, still got to come in and work. There's a job to be done and it's to win games. The team we have, we still a goal and task at hand that will never change."
When asked if he'll have a sit down with either Suns General Manager James Jones or team owner Robert Sarver in the coming days, Ayton said he'll let his agents handle it.
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