Deandre Ayton Skips Media Availability Amid Contract Drama

Former No. 1 overall pick Deandre Ayton remains at a standstill regarding a potential contract extension with the Phoenix Suns. This likely fueled Ayton to skip media day for the Suns on Tuesday — first reported by ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

After the team extended Chris Paul and Mikal Bridges to some hefty deals, Ayton has eagerly waited on his potential 5-year max contract, with no signs of development as the season prepares to tip off for the Suns.

Suns general manager James Jones spoke with The Athletic regarding latest contract talks with Ayton:

“We know it’s important to us; it’s important to him that we continue to progress and we continue to develop and we win [a title]. So when we talked about a focus this offseason, it was to continue to build this team. So for us, unfortunately, we are where we are [with Ayton]. No agreement. We didn’t have real negotiations. 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. It’s evident. They talk about us having discussions on a three-year, four-year max [deals]. Those are real.”

After a deep run that led to the NBA Finals last season, Ayton has been regarded by fans as a necessary part of the franchise’s future. Ayton averaged 14.4 points, 10.5 rebounds and 1.4 assists last season. 

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