PHOENIX — Deandre Ayton hasn't said much over the last few months about his negotiations with the Phoenix Suns on new contract extension, but Tuesday, he broke his silence, saying his is disappointed a deal has not been done.
"I love Phoenix, but I'm really disappointed we haven't really gotten a deal done yet," Ayton said. "I mean, we were two wins away from a championship and I just really wanted to be respected, to be honest. To be respected like my peers are being respected by their teams."
Ayton is seeking a maximum rookie contract extension, which would be for five years and $172.5 million and could go as high as $207 million.
Several other players from the 2018 draft class, in which the Suns took Ayton No. 1 overall, have already agreed to max deals, including Dallas' Luka Doncic, Atlanta's Trae Young, Oklahoma City's Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Denver's Michael Porter Jr.
However, ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reports that that talks between Ayton and the Suns have stalled because the Suns do not view Ayton as being in the same class as that group.
Ayton and the Suns have until next Monday, October 18th to reach a deal. If they don't, Ayton will become a restricted free agent next summer.
However, Ayton isn't letting any of this distract him from what needs to be done on the court.
"I just let them handle it the most professional way possible and just control what I can control," Ayton said. "At the same time, we’ve still got to come in and work. There’s a job to be done and it’s to win games. With the team we have, we still have a goal and a task at hand and that will never change."
The Suns wrap up their preseason Wednesday with a home game against the Portland Trail Blazers. Tip-off at Footprint Center in downtown Phoenix is set for 2 p.m.
That game will be followed by game 2 of the WNBA Finals between the Phoenix Mercury and Chicago Sky. The tip-off for that game is at 6 p.m.
The Suns open the 2021-22 season on October 20th when they host reigning NBA MVP Nikola Jokic the Denver Nuggets. The game will be broadcast nationwide on ESPN and locally on Bally Sports Arizona. The tip-off will be at 7 p.m.