One of the big remaining pieces of the NBA free agency period fell into place on Thursday, as Phoenix Suns center and restricted free agent Deandre Ayton received a $133 million offer sheet from the Indiana Pacers.
The offer sheet, which was the largest in NBA history, would have immediately impacted the NBA championship odds market.
However, Phoenix matched the offer before midnight on Friday, ending the Pacers’ bid to add Ayton to their roster.
The New Deandre Ayton Contract
Nearly everyone in the online sports betting world will recall how prominent the Deandre Ayton contract topic has been over the last 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
famously stingy owner, Robert Sarver, did not pay Ayton prior to last season. Rumors of contract tension colored the Suns’ second-round loss to the Dallas Mavericks in this past season’s NBA playoffs.
Phoenix did not offer a max contract to Ayton at the beginning of the free agency period, suggesting that the Suns’ front office did not think he was worth the money.
Ayton and his representation team insisted that the market would value him at the max.
Ultimately, they were proven correct when Indiana submitted a 4-year, $133 million offer. Phoenix was forced to match the offer sheet or lose Ayton to free agency, receiving nothing in return.
As part of the terms of the new contract, Phoenix cannot trade Ayton without his consent for one year. The Suns can’t move him under any circumstances for six months.
Deandre Ayton: Pacers Were Impressed by Big Stats
Deandre Ayton, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2018 NBA Draft, has posted very impressive numbers in Phoenix through his first four seasons in the league. The Suns’ NBA odds have been on the rise practically every year he was on the team.
Last season, Phoenix compiled the best regular-season record in professional basketball, and Deandre Ayton’s stats were a big part of that.
Ayton averaged 17 points and 10 rebounds per game for the Suns in 2021-22. His field goal percentage of 63.4% was a career-best mark.
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