PHOENIX SUNS

Suns PG Chris Paul ‘not concerned’ about Deandre Ayton’s extension situation

Oct 6, 2021, 9:43 AM
Phoenix Suns guard Chris Paul (3) and center Deandre Ayton (22) talk during a timeout during the fo...

Phoenix Suns guard Chris Paul (3) and center Deandre Ayton (22) talk during a timeout during the fourth quarter against the Houston Rockets during an NBA basketball game in Houston, Monday, April 5, 2021. (Troy Taormina/Pool Photo via AP)

(Troy Taormina/Pool Photo via AP)

Phoenix Suns point guard Chris Paul understands the posturing of the NBA business. Twelve days before an extension deadline of Oct. 18 for the Suns to retain center Deandre Ayton beyond the 2021-22 season, the veteran isn’t panicked over the lack of an agreement.

“I’m not concerned,” Paul told ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith on Wednesday. “That’s the business of the game. Those contract talks happen (between) players, agents, all that stuff.

“We got Mikal Bridges, another guy who’s part of our team (up for an extension before Oct. 18). Hopefully, that stuff takes care of itself so we get back to playing and doing what we do.”

ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski was first to report Tuesday that Ayton was seeking only a max contract, and Wojnarowski added that stance has stalled discussions due to the team’s reluctance to offer such a deal.

A five-year max deal would start in the $172.5 million range and amount to up to $207 million with incentives.

Ayton remains under contract for the 2021-22 season but will become a restricted free agent next summer if a deal isn’t reached prior to the start of the regular season. Phoenix could match offers given to Ayton next offseason if he does not agree to an extension in the coming weeks.

The center averaged 14.4 points, 10.5 rebounds, 1.4 assists and 1.2 blocks per game in his third NBA regular season in 2020-21.

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