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For at least a few hours, it seemed that Deandre Ayton would no longer be a member of the team that gave him no. 1 common in the 2018 NBA draft.
Last week, Indiana Pacers and Ayton agreed to the largest offer in NBA history, a four-year contract worth a maximum of $133 million. The Suns had 48 hours to match the offer or lose Ayton without compensation.
The Suns really matched him, and quickly, leaving Ayton with Phoenix.
“It’s a blessing,” Ayton told ESPN after signing. “This contract has an impact not only on my family’s generation, but on how we can work in the Phoenix community and at home in the Bahamas. This is what we are guided by…
“I came to understand that this is a business. So I was more concerned about the end result so I could focus, move on and just get back to work. I just treated everything like a business. being a professional, approach everything professionally and without looking too deep.”
Remaining in Phoenix, Ayton may not be sold until January. On the 15th of next year, and the Suns would have to wait a whole year to trade him at all without Ayton’s approval.
According to Suns General Manager James Jonesthe team was never going to part with their star center.
“We wanted DeAndre to be here,” Jones told ESPN. “He is vital to what we do, at the core of everything we do. And throughout this whole process, it was true. We wanted to leave him here, and the moment we can come to an agreement, we will. , waiting 24 hours, 48 hours, it wasn’t something we needed to do because going into it we knew that this was where he wanted to be and where we wanted him to be.”
The 2021-2022 season ended disastrously for Phoenix, losing to the Dallas Mavericks in Game 7 of the Western Conference Semifinals. Going 64-18 in the regular season, the Suns were one of the biggest playoff upsets the NBA has seen in years, but Ayton, armed with a new deal, is ready to bounce back.
“The freedom of action change brought a lot of uncertainty throughout the process,” Ayton said. “I have to give credit to the Pacers organization. They were aggressive from the start and showed a lot of love. And we agreed to the maximum offer. The Suns matched. Sun.
“I’m happy. Process completed. I put it all behind me and focused on fighting for the championship next season with my brothers.”