Phoenix Suns: 3 Things to Watch for in Final Preseason Game vs Portland

Phoenix Suns (Photo by Steve Dykes/Getty Images)
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Phoenix Suns, MIkal Bridges, Deandre Ayton
Phoenix Suns, Mikal Bridges, Deandre Ayton. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports /

Phoenix Suns Preseason Finale: Bridges and Ayton Play with Some Extra Vigor

The nonexistent contract extensions for Mikal Bridges and Deandre Ayton are both gigantic elephants in the Suns locker room right now.

Also as the team inches closer to the regular season, they simultaneously move closer to their deadline to reach these agreements. So with this preseason contest, Bridges and Ayton both own one final chance to endorse themselves as worthy extendees in a real game environment.

To be clear, if the Suns want to extend Ayton and Bridges, then they should do so because of their stellar play last season, rather than anything they might do during a meaningless preseason game. But at the same time, we cannot pretend like a 7-7 3-point shooting performance from Bridges, or a 30-point and 15-rebound outing from Ayton will not slightly nudge things that way.

Recognizing this, both Ayton and Bridges might try a bit harder than normally expected during a preseason game, almost subconsciously looking to provoke the Phoenix front office into offering them extensions.

Although both Ayton and Bridges have declined to speak much about these potential extensions, often leaving it up to their agents and instead just focusing on ball, you can bet they still want them dearly. That might come out in a game environment, and if it does, make sure you get your popcorn ready.