Despite being offered a hefty deal by the Indiana Pacers, former Wildcat Deandre Ayton has been offered a matching offer by the Phoenix Suns.
Well, the dream of potentially watching the Indi(Arizona) Pacers this season with Bennedict Mathurin, TJ McConnell, and Deandre Ayton is over.
Over the past few days, there had been growing belief that the Pacers were going to sign the former Wildcat as a restricted free agent, as the team had the interest, and more importantly, the cap space to do so.
And on Thursday afternoon, that looked like a definite possibility as ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported that the Indiana Pacers offered Ayton a contract worth $133 million over the next four seasons (the largest offer sheet in NBA history).
Following the offer, the Suns would be given two days following to match the Pacer’s offer, otherwise if unsuccessful, Ayton would with the Suns coming up empty-handed.
Unfortunately, the dream of seeing the “Midwest Wildcats” lasted just a few short hours as making news early Friday evening, the Phoenix Suns had reportedly matched the Pacers’ offer, successfully keeping the Bahamian big man in the Valley for the foreseeable future.
Luckily for former Wildcat Deandre Ayton, he now controls his future, and he will be a whole lot richer doing it too!
Amidst the messiness of NBA free agency, Ayton got exactly what he wanted, unfortunately, it is just a year later. Luckily for him, he now has all the leverage with his contract… at least for now.
With the Suns matching the Pacers’ offer today, Phoenix not only has to pay the salary he wanted but now they cannot trade him until January 15, 2023, at minimum, which means Phoenix’s pipe dream of adding NBA superstar, Kevin Durant, is now likely over.
The Suns played with fire for too long and now they may get burned. Either way, at least Ayton finally got paid what he is worth.