3 Phoenix Suns who just Played Their Last Games in Phoenix

Phoenix Suns (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Phoenix Suns (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /
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Phoenix Suns, Deandre Ayton
Phoenix Suns, Deandre Ayton (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images) /

Phoenix Suns Exiting Players: Deandre Ayton

I know, trust me I know. The Suns absolutely should re-sign Ayton this summer. He resembles a talented and efficient big, an ideal dance partner for Chris Paul, and someone without an adequate replacement available in the free agent market.

But even with all that, the writing on the wall seems to indicate that Ayton and the Suns are finished.

During Phoenix’s playoff exit, Ayton only played just 17 minutes—the fewest of his entire postseason career. Things grew stranger after the game, as Monty Williams explained that the reason behind the Suns’s decision to keep Ayton benched was something “internal.”

Before all this, the Suns also neglected to offer Ayton a max deal last summer, despite writing checks for Bridges and the recently acquired Landry Shamet soon after. That made Ayton the first top pick from an NBA draft to not receive an extension since Anthony Bennet, which made him feel “not valued” by the team according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

Already being so talented and still coming into his prime, Ayton will get a max deal from someone this summer, and the Suns seem to believe that he does not deserve such a contract, no matter what his play on the court tells you.

Phoenix will likely try and pursue a sign-and-trade to try and acquire something for Ayton, but that involves more moving parts and promises take additional work.

Next. Suns Mixed Reactions After Playoff Exit. dark

The worst case scenario involves a team offering Ayton a deal which Phoenix simply does not want to match, eventually allowing him to walk for nothing. Doing so will free up more space to extend Johnson though, and sign a slew of other bigs.