Earlier today I talked about all the pending rookie extensions we were waiting on with today's deadline, and I have to admit I am legit shocked the Suns went this route with Deandre Ayton. Especially with all the money they shelled out, the fact that they JUST gave his fellow 2018 class member Mikal Bridges a 90M extension led me to believe that eventually things would be ironed out with Ayton. Shit, they even agreed to pay Landry Shamet 4/43M! Yeah, Ayton wants the max. Yeah, that might be an "overpay" but the salary cap is about to skyrocket with their new TV deal. Ayton was a big part of the reason they even made the NBA Finals. So he got dominated by Giannis in the Finals. OK? Who didn't? He's 22 years old, that shit happens.
My question is if this move is even worth it for the Suns. Now a RFA (unless he played on his qualifying offer), the Suns could still end up paying him "max" money that would be slightly lower than their own max. But the point is you're going have to pay the kid regardless, so why potentially sabotage your season like this? What's the benefit of doing this to a franchise cornerstone player? You just paid Bridges based off what you think he can be, but won't reward Ayton for actual production he's already done while still being young as hell.
Part of what made the Suns so good last year was their chemistry. Everyone bought into their role and they had one of the best seasons in franchise history. Then everyone else got paid but Ayton. You think those positive vibes are going to continue? He's only human. Stuff like that is so fragile in an NBA locker room and we've seen year in and year out what issues like this can do to team chemistry. It's a lot harder to get guys to buy in when after they do the owner still screws around when everyone else was rewarded. If anything, it increases the chances we see Ayton pull a Simmons and demand a trade with multiple years left. Maybe it impacts how he views the franchise as a UFA down the line.
The entire saga is so interesting to me. It took the Suns forever to finally get to this level, and you would think they would do everything they could to stay. Instead, they are dong the opposite. I would love to know what Suns fans think of this, mostly because they all hate Robert Sarver with a passion for being cheap as hell. If you have to overpay in the short term to help keep everyone on board and happy in the long term, you do it. Especially when that TV money is going to raise the salary cap even more.
The Suns decided to go a different direction and now we wait to see how it impacts their season. Don't be surprised if it screws things up a little bit.