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NBA Insider Adrian Wojnarowski Details Future of Deandre Ayton

The Suns have a major decision on their hands with the upcoming restricted free-agent. ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski gave the latest scoop on what he's heard.

Regardless of how the Phoenix Suns ended their season, discussions surrounding the future of center Deandre Ayton were going to emerge as one of the major storylines across the NBA.

Phoenix's blowout loss against the Dallas Mavericks in Game 7 Sunday night only amplified the conversation. 

By now, if you're a Suns fan, you know what happened. Ayton played just 17 minutes and was benched by head coach Monty Williams with 8:26 left in the third quarter. Williams and Ayton reportedly exchanged words, and Williams said the decision was "internal" to not put him back in the game. 

The hurricane of speculation surrounding Ayton's future with the Suns has only begun, yet ESPN NBA insider Adrian Wojnarowski appeared on the set of NBA Today and gave some insight into the situation. 

"Going into the season, Deandre Ayton, he did not feel valued by this Phoenix organization. They were not able to come to an agreement on his rookie extension. He saw all the other players in his class or many of the top players get extensions. He wanted a max deal, he would not move off that. So now he moves toward restricted free agency this summer. Where now he'll have some more options but ultimately, Phoenix can still match an offer out there and keep him if he signs an offer sheet with another team," said Wojnarowski.

Wojnarowski would go on to say that Ayton will gather plenty of interest on the market. 

"You're going to look at the teams with cap space. A team like let's say for example, Oklahoma City, San Antonio, Portland. Teams who could create enough cap space to go out and sign him. But also the discussions of a sign-and-trade, meaning teams who maybe don't have the cap space, and if Phoenix decides they want to get assets back for the Deandre Ayton, they don't want to match an offer sheet and either decide to pay him that max or allow him to just leave for nothing, which I think is what they won't do," Wojnarowski said. 


"There'll be a lot of conversations around the league. Deandre Ayton is going to get a max contract in the marketplace, somewhere. Phoenix really has to look at the sort of allocation financially of how they want to distribute salaries (and) money. That's what this is. The relationship with Monty Williams had been one of the real benefits, I think their ability to work together and build a relationship (has been vital). It'll be interesting to see how that season ended impacts this, but it's going to be really one of the stories of this offseason because Deandre Ayton, there are a lot of teams lining up to figure out how can we acquire him."


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