There are already a few representatives of the 2018 draft class who have recently made official the signing of their first maximum contract in the NBA. Luka Doncic, Trae Young, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Michael Porter Jr. have already secured their future from 2022 with figures ranging from 172 to 207 million dollars for five years. This group is missing the number one in that draft, a DeAndre Ayton whose great season pointed to the possibility of signing this type of contract. However, it seems that the negotiations begin with a Phoenix Suns not quite willing to put all the meat on the grill.
Andrew Wojnarowski informs exclusively for ESPN of the deal freeze because the franchise owner does not believe that Ayton is worthy of this contract. The player, for his part, will not accept any offer below these conditions. The serious thing about the matter is that the deadline for rookie contract extensions is October 18, which also affects the situation of Mikal Bridges in the same group.
In the same article, Woj notes that Robert Sarver, owner of the organization, has not paid luxury tax since the 2009-10 season, with the team spending a decade out of playoff spots. Obviously, the Ayton and Bridges renovations, along with Paul and Booker’s salaries, would put him in this position, casting some doubt about his intention to build a team that will establish itself in the noble part of the West if he does not finally make the moves. After long years of indolence, the trident of James Jones, Monty Williams and Chris Paul led the franchise to its first finals since 1993 and sowed a seed of hope that could hang in the balance for the next two weeks.
(Cover photo by Christian Petersen / Getty Images)