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Suns GM: No 'Real Negotiations' With Deandre Ayton Regarding Contract Extension

Sports Illustrated
Sports Illustrated
 2021-10-19

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Deandre Ayton and the Suns weren't close to agreeing to a contract extension before Monday's deadline.

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Suns general manager James Jones said Tuesday the team never engaged in "real negotiations" with Deandre Ayton over the offseason regarding a potential contract extension .

Monday marked the extension deadline for 2018 draftees, with a number of players receiving new contracts with their respective teams. Memphis forward Jaren Jackson Jr. signed a $105 million extension on Monday, and Ayton's teammate Mikal Bridges signed his own $90 million deal on Sunday. But after Monday's deadline, Ayton will now reach restricted free agency next summer.

Jones indicated Tuesday he was willing to discuss a max contract extension with Ayton's representatives if a potential deal came under five years. But per Jones, such a proposal was a non-starter for Ayton and Co.

"We’re disappointed that we couldn’t reach an extension agreement this offseason," Jones told The Athletic 's Sam Amick . "We didn’t have real negotiations."

"Anything less than a five-year max wasn’t something to be considered, not something to talk about."

Ayton averaged 14.4 points and 10.5 rebounds per game last season. He was an integral part of Phoenix's run to the Finals as he shot 65.8% from the field.

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