Suns GM James Jones: No update on appeal process for Deandre Ayton

Oct 29, 2019, 5:54 PM | Updated: 6:07 pm
Deandre Ayton #22 of the Phoenix Suns during the second half of the NBA game against the Sacramento...
Deandre Ayton #22 of the Phoenix Suns during the second half of the NBA game against the Sacramento Kings at Talking Stick Resort Arena on October 23, 2019 in Phoenix, Arizona. The Suns defeated the Kings 124-95. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

With Phoenix Suns center Deandre Ayton three games into a 25-game suspension for failing a drug test, the next development to come is on a potential reduction on Ayton’s suspension.

ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported Thursday that the NBA’s Player’s Association has already prepped an arbitration case for Ayton to reduce or entirely rescind the suspension. That case is built on Ayton’s “unintentional digestion” of a diuretic, which are medications that help increase the production of urine and also used for blood pressure and weight loss.

Ayton’s statement said he will be challenging the ruling through the arbitration process.

“This was an unintentional mistake and unfortunately I put something in my body that I was completely unaware of,” it said. “I do understand the unfortunate impact that this has on so many others, and for that I am deeply sorry. I’m extremely disappointed that I’ve let my team down. I will continue to work with the Players’ Union (NBPA) to go through the arbitration process and am hopeful for a positive resolution.”

General manager James Jones was asked by 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station’s Burns & Gambo if he had any update on the process.

“I don’t,” Jones said. “That’s in the player’s association’s hands. We’re supporting Deandre. We’re focused on the team continuing to focus on the next game. That’ll take care of itself.

“I know he misses being out there with his teammates and whenever he comes back, we’ll be ready to re-integrate him and continue with this forward movement and momentum.”

Per league rules, Ayton is allowed to be around the team and get his work in at the facilities but has to leave the arena once it is within two hours of a game starting.

“He’s a big part of what we do,” Jones said. “We feel the loss of his presence daily. It hurts us both equally. It’s an opportunity for us to grow and see what we’re made of.”

The Suns are off to a surprising 2-2 beginning to the season, with wins over the Sacramento Kings and Los Angeles Clippers along with one-point losses to the Denver Nuggets and Utah Jazz. They are back in action on Wednesday in Golden State, a 7:30 p.m. tipoff you can hear on 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station.

Phoenix Suns

Mikal Bridges #25 of the Phoenix Suns reacts to a three-point shot against the Brooklyn Nets during...
Kellan Olson

Mikal Bridges waiting like all of us for potential contract extension with Suns

When Phoenix Suns wing Mikal Bridges was discussing a potential new contract extension on Friday, a word he kept coming back to was waiting.
22 hours ago
Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo (34) drives to the basket between Phoenix Suns center...
Kevin Zimmerman

ESPN’s Marks: Suns deserve F grade if they don’t extend Ayton or Bridges

ESPN's Bobby Marks finds the lack of an extension for Mikal Bridges or Deandre Ayton concerning days before the deadline.
22 hours ago
Photo courtesy: Phoenix Suns...
Nicholas Hodell

Footprint Center formally dedicated before NBA/WNBA doubleheader

A ribbon-cutting ceremony took place at the Footprint Center on Wednesday to dedicate and formally open the doors to the transformed arena.
2 days ago
Deandre Ayton #22 of the Phoenix Suns dunks the ball over Ivica Zubac #40 of the LA Clippers  durin...
Kevin Zimmerman

ESPN’s Lowe places Suns in top-10 of League Pass Rankings

There's more potential for entertainment via the Phoenix Suns this season. ESPN's Zach Lowe has them in the top-10 of his annual rankings.
2 days ago
(Photo courtesy Phoenix Suns)...
Character Counts

Devin Booker surprises Girl Scouts with $100K grant at Mercury game

Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker used the Phoenix Mercury's WNBA Finals Game 2 to surprise Girl Scouts with a $100,000 donation.
2 days ago
Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker (1) looks to pass as Portland Portland Trail Blazers forward Norman...
Kellan Olson

Devin Booker comes back like he never left in Suns’ preseason finale

Devin Booker made his preseason debut in the Phoenix Suns' last preseason game and the shooting guard played well.
3 days ago
Suns GM James Jones: No update on appeal process for Deandre Ayton