The decision means Ayton will be a restricted free agent at the end of the season.
Teams need to agree on rookie-scale extensions with players from the 2018 draft class ahead of the deadline, or allow those players to test free agency. Ayton was the No. 1 overall pick in 2018.
Per Wojnarowski, “Ayton expected max contract and owner Robert Sarver hasn’t offered it.”‘
Ayton, 23, is 6-foot-11 and was a key piece in the Suns’ run to the NBA Finals, where they lost to the Bucks. He averaged 14.4 points and 10.5 rebounds in 69 regular-season games, starting them all.