Phoenix Suns General Manager James Jones, in his exit Zoom media interview on Wednesday afternoon, addressed a number of topics, including the contract situation and the future of Deandre Ayton with the team.
Deandre Ayton, who will be a restricted free agent this summer, was part of the suns last season but his fourth and final year of the contract is coming to an end. The Suns have failed to sign him to a rookie max extension or any extension at all for that matter.
Talking about the situation, James Jones responded, “As far as free agency and those things, we’ll address them at the proper time. That happens in July, end of June, but we want to continue to keep our consistency and continuity and keep the guys that we have and continue to help those guys improve upon the things that we did this year.”
There are, however, two options with the Suns. One is to match an offer from any other team since Ayton is restricted free. The second option is to make a sign-and-trade with Ayton in a package deal that could address needs at the guard position.
Former NBA player JJ Redick on ESPN’s First Take this week had his say about the situation revolving around Suns and Ayton. “”He’s the one guy on your roster that you could facilitate a sign-and-trade with and potentially bring back a third player, a wing player, that can get you buckets, that can guard. They just don’t have that third option right now.”
The suns entered the playoffs as the top-seeded team, however, they were eliminated on Sunday at Footprint Center, by the fourth-seeded Dallas Mavericks, who won the decisive Game 7 by 33 points, 123-90. Responding to the results, James said,
“The season didn’t end the way that we wanted it to, but I think with a lot of internal improvement, we can progress forward,”
Despite sustaining numerous injuries during the season, Ayton averaged a double-double for a fourth straight season of 17.2 points on a career-best 63.4% shooting and 10.2 rebounds in 58 games.