As the offseason began, it was clear that Ayton wasn’t happy in Phoenix and it appeared as if the front office was ready to let the big man go as a restricted free agent.
But then when the Pacers came knocking and attempted to land Ayton, the Suns decided to re-sign the player.
“The Suns still don’t want to pay a center $30M. This was not what they wanted to do. They don’t believe in that. They like the Kevon Looney angle. Let me pay a center $10-12 million and his backup $5 and I’ll spend that money elsewhere” – @Gambo987 pic.twitter.com/J82xAMtk8i
— NBA Retweet (@RTNBA) October 13, 2022
Still, inside reporting suggests that Phoenix doesn’t want to put too much money into Ayton.
Insider John Gambadoro summed up the situation well:
“The Suns still don’t want to pay a center $30 million. This was not what they wanted to do. They don’t believe in that. They like the Kevon Looney angle. ‘Let me pay a center $10-12 million and his backup $5 and I’ll spend that money elsewhere.'”
Ayton is getting paid by Phoenix but you can’t blame him for feeling a bit unwanted.
Acrimonious With Ayton
Originally, the Suns declined to extend Ayton’s rookie extension before the trade deadline in the summer.
This led Ayton to feeling discredited and unwanted and not valued by his team and made him want to leave the team for greener pastures.
But then the Suns decided to match a four-year, $133 million offer from the Indiana Pacers.
However, things didn’t seem great after all of that was solved.
During the team’s media day, Ayton admitted that he hadn’t spoken with head coach Monty Williams in months – he also seemed to have no interest in elaborating about his position on the team.
Will things get better between Ayton and the Suns once the season gets going?