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DeAndre Ayton to become free agent next summer

The Phoenix Suns and the center could not come to terms on a contract extension.
Credit: AP
Phoenix Suns center Deandre Ayton (22) reacts during the first half of Game 2 of basketball's NBA Finals against the Milwaukee Bucks, Thursday, July 8, 2021, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Matt York)

PHOENIX — Negotiations for a contract extension between the Phoenix Suns and center DeAndre Ayton have reportedly ended without a deal, ESPN reports. 

ESPN's NBA insider reporter, Adrian Wojnarowski, broke the news that the Suns and Ayton could not agree on a deal for a new contract extension. 

Monday was the deadline for a deal to be set. Ayton will now become a restricted free agent next summer.

Ayton was seeking a maximum rookie contract extension, which would be for five years and $172.5 million and could go as high as $207 million.

RELATED: Deandre Ayton 'really disappointed' to not have new deal done with Phoenix Suns

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. 

Ayton expressed his disappointment in his stalled negotiations last week. 

"I love Phoenix, but I'm really disappointed we haven't really gotten a deal done yet," Ayton said previously. "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."

The Suns open the 2021-22 season on October 20 when they host the Denver Nuggets at the Footprint Center.

RELATED: Desert curse? Both men's and women's basketball teams lost in the Finals


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