Phoenix Suns push Indiana Pacers into the shade with mega Deandre Ayton deal
Deandre Ayton’s future has been resolved after the Phoenix Suns tied him down to a new four-year deal worth $133million, but it came at the expense of the Indiana Pacers.
Ayton was poised to become a free agent, and there would have been a few anxious faces in the Suns camp when Ayton put pen to paper on a $133m offer sheet with the Pacers earlier this month.
But after being given a deadline, the Suns pulled things back from the brink when they were informed of the Pacers’ proposal. The Suns didn’t hesitate to match the Pacers’ offer, and they were able to divert what could have potentially been an embarrassing episode.
For the Suns, it will feel like a new acquisition retaining Ayton’s services as he is coming off the back of a splendid season. In the previous campaign, he averaged 17.2 points per match, and he attained a franchise-record 63.4% shooting, as well as collecting 10.2 rebounds.
Indeed, Ayton was instrumental for the Suns, and he ranked in the NBA’s top 10 in both field goal percentage and rebounds per game for the second consecutive season in a row.
To put this into a wider context, Ayton’s first four NBA seasons saw him average 16.3 points on 59.9% shooting from the field, so he has enjoyed a meteoric rise.
And Suns general manager James Jones couldn’t disguise the fact that he was delighted that Ayton was able to commit his long-term future to the franchise.
In an interview with ESPN, he said: “We wanted Deandre here. He’s vital to what we do, at the core of everything that we do. And throughout this whole process, it was, it rang true.
“I’m one to just be direct. And if you’re convicted, if you know what you want to do, you do it.
“It was urgent for us. It was important. It was critical for us. So, we just wanted to make sure that we handled our business quickly.”
Now the Suns have managed to claw Ayton out of the grasp of the Pacers, they will be hoping to build upon what they achieved last season when they reached the Conference Semi-Finals before bowing out in the playoffs after a 4-3 series defeat to the Dallas Mavericks. With Chris Paul and Devin Booker in their ranks, the fans will be hoping they can make serious inroads next season.
Naturally, the NBA will be thrust into the spotlight when the new season gets underway in October. It is arguably one of the biggest competitions for sports betting in the US, and the Suns are currently one of the favorites to win the title next season at +900 on FanDuel sportsbook.
The Suns will come to the realization that they may have had a close shave with Deandre Ayton. Losing him would have been seemingly unthinkable, but now they have managed to keep hold of him, he could spur them on to new heights next season.