NBA superstar Kevin Durant recently requested to be traded from the Brooklyn Nets. There were several potential destinations for him in order to try winning an NBA title. The Phoneix Suns were considered front runners to land KD. However, their star big man Deandre Ayton has now received a 4-year $133 million offer.
The NBA is primarily a business. Therefore, salaries and cap space need to match in order to pull off a fair trade. Ayton and the Suns were already at odds regarding whether he would be given a maximum deal. The Indiana Pacers saw that the young Suns’ talent was up for grabs and made him the $133 million offer. This forces Phoenix to match this offer if they hope to keep Deandre.
RFA center Deandre Ayton has agreed to a four-year, $133M maximum offer sheet with the Indiana Pacers, his agents Nima Namakian (Innovate Sports) and Bill Duffy (BDA Sports + WME Sports) tell ESPN. The Phoenix Suns have 48 hours to match the largest offer sheet in NBA history.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) July 14, 2022
The Phoneix Suns could also let Ayton go in return for nothing. This could happen if they refuse to match the number offered by the Pacers. One must wonder whether Deandre Ayton being offered this contract will affect the chances of the Suns potentially trading for KD.
Deandre Ayton having a new offer will prevent the Suns from trading him for Kevin Durant
A new contract is well deserved by Ayton. He has averaged 16.3 points, 10.5 rebounds, and 1.6 assists throughout his career. Moreover, he has been hugely responsible for the recent success the Suns have seen. This is because of his length and size, which makes him a versatile big man and rim protector.
Deandre is only 23 years old and still has a lot of potential and skill to showcase in the league. He was drafted by his team in 2018. At the time, he was offered a 4 year 40 million dollar contract. This is the average rookie extension that all young players are given.
He is clearly worth a lot more and the Pacers knew it. Therefore, they chose to give him a 133 million offer that forces the Suns to match it to keep him. This also speaks to how much the Pacers think he is worth and how much they are willing to sacrifice to get him.
There is a simple reason his new contract affects KD arriving in Phoenix. It prevents the “sign and trade rule” which the Suns would have loved to use to obtain durant. The sign and trade refer to when a player is given a maximum contract and soon looked to be moved. The franchise would ask for equivalent value to his new contract in return for a successful trade.
Neither the Pacers nor the Suns will be able to move Ayton until January 15th. This means he will not be part of any trade package until then. Therefore, the Suns cannot offer the Nets all they could have and this reduces the chances of KD coming to Phoenix greatly.
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