Deandre Ayton is a fantastic basketball player. He averaged 14.4 PPG and 10.5 RPG over the course of the 2020-21 season, and his defense was key for the Phoenix Suns during the playoffs.
Despite all of his talent and skill, Ayton joined Anthony Bennett as the only No. 1 pick to not get a rookie extension since 2008. Ayton is clearly not a bust, and he certainly deserves to be paid. GM James Jones revealed that the negotiations broke down due to Ayton's contract demands, as he wanted a 5-year max.
Coach Monty Williams has recently commented on Deandre Ayton's situation when speaking to Sam Amick of The Athletic, and stated that his goal is "to help guys win and get paid". It is clear that Williams wanted to help Ayton get his max contract, and perhaps Ayton will get his lucrative extension next season.
Yeah, I don’t believe there will be because you still get to play ball. We all still get paid. For me — and I can’t speak for anybody else — my goal is to help guys win and get paid. So when a guy doesn’t get what he wants, and (the two sides) don’t agree, I take that like I didn’t do enough, you know what I’m saying? Like, that’s my job. And that’s how I look at it. You know what I mean? I heard all the stuff (about his situation), and I’ve been privy to information and conversations. But for me as a leader on the floor, that’s what I take seriously. Now I’m not the reason guys get paid. But when they don’t get what they want, or negotiations go awry. I’m like, ‘Well, how do I help them out?’ Because that’s my job is to help that guy achieve all those goals. That’s how I look at it.
Perhaps we see Deandre Ayton fulfill his ambitions and become a guy who is considered worthy of a max contract. A lot of people suggested that even if he isn't quite at that level, the Suns should have given him a contract anyway for the role he has played in their Finals run.
If the Phoenix Suns continue winning, and Deandre Ayton plays well, there shouldn't be any hesitation from the Suns about giving him a max contract. Ayton has immense athleticism and defensive ability, and hopefully, the Suns will be able to work something out with him in the future.