Deandre Ayton won’t be an Indiana Pacer after all.
The Phoenix Suns matched the Pacers’ four-year, $133 million offer sheet for the former Arizona Wildcats center, meaning Ayton will remain in Phoenix for now. Ayton can’t be traded without his consent for a full year.
As soon as the Suns received the four-year, $133M offer sheet, the franchise matched it. Deandre Ayton returns to Phoenix and can't be traded without his consent for a full year. https://t.co/dBXGN3qbCK— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) July 15, 2022
The Suns’ decision to match the Pacers’ offer sheet was expected after Ayton signed the largest offer sheet in NBA history with Indiana earlier in the day. The Suns had two days to match the Pacers, or else watch Ayton walk out the door with no compensation in return.
Not only can the Suns not trade Ayton for a year without his consent, they can’t trade him period until Jan. 15, 2023. That means Phoenix is out of the running to trade for Brooklyn Nets star Kevin Durant.
In four seasons with the Suns, Ayton has started 229 games and averaged 16.3 points and 10.5 rebounds. The Suns declined to offer him a max extension last fall, making him a restricted free agent.
With today’s deal making, Ayton got what he wanted a year: to be paid a max contract.