Inside reports said Ayton wasn’t happy with the Phoenix Suns and the Suns weren’t particularly happy with him either.
The Pacers saw a chance to slide in and steal the star big man.
So they swung for the fences with the deal they offered him.
This is a historic moment for the Pacers, who have tended to be very conservative in free agency.
Indiana just offered Deandre Ayton their first max contract since Paul George’s extension in 2013.
— Evan Sidery (@esidery) July 14, 2022
On Thursday, the Pacers offered Ayton a monster four-year, $133 million deal.
Because Ayton is a restricted free agent, the Suns had a couple of days to decide if they wanted to match that deal or let Ayton make a new home in Indianapolis.
Phoenix is reportedly matching the deal and retaining Ayton, despite the rocky road they recently had.
This was Indiana’s biggest move in ages: they offered Ayton their first max contract since Paul George back in 2013.
The Pacers don’t often make moves this big so what will they do now that it didn’t pan out?
This isn’t what Indiana expected.
They didn’t think the Suns would come back and match the deal and they figured Ayton would definitely be theirs when the new season started.
But that’s not panning out so what’s next?
The Pacers still have their own big man, Myles Turner, but there have been trade rumors floating around him for ages now.
So perhaps they will try to build a package around him to acquire a different center they’re more enthusiastic about.
One thing is sure: their next offer sheet definitely won’t be as large as the one they made for Ayton.