PHOENIX - The Phoenix Suns announced on July 18 that center Deandre Ayton officially re-signed to a multi-year contract.
"Deandre is a force on both ends of the floor, who has elevated his game every year and will continue to do so," said General Manager James Jones in a news release. "DA is so important to what we do and without him we could not have reached our recent levels of success. We are excited to keep Deandre at home in the Valley where he belongs."
Deandre Ayton finally has his new deal from the Phoenix Suns, who simply weren’t willing to let him get away for nothing.
A person with knowledge of the situation said the Suns quickly decided to match a $133 million, four-year offer sheet that Ayton agreed to with the Indiana Pacers.
The Athletic first reported Phoenix matching the offer. ESPN first reported that Ayton had agreed with the Pacers.
The move means the Suns will keep their nucleus of Ayton and the All-Star backcourt of Devin Booker and Chris Paul. The trio pushed Phoenix to the NBA Finals in 2021 and a franchise-record 64 wins during the most recent regular season.
The No. 1 pick in the 2018 draft, Ayton was eligible to get an extension from Phoenix last summer.
That didn’t happen, and he became a restricted free agent this summer — meaning Phoenix had the chance to match any offers. Once Indiana made its move, the Suns countered quickly.
Phoenix has been linked to interest in acquiring Brooklyn star Kevin Durant during the offseason, but Ayton can’t be used as trade bait because of the new deal.
PHOENIX, ARIZONA - MARCH 04: Deandre Ayton #22 of the Phoenix Suns reacts during the final moments of the NBA game against the Milwaukee Bucks at Talking Stick Resort Arena on March 04, 2019 in Phoenix, Arizona. The Suns defeated the Bucks 114-105. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)