PHOENIX SUNS

Suns’ Robert Sarver tight-lipped on Deandre Ayton’s contract extension

Oct 13, 2021, 4:34 PM | Updated: 5:03 pm
Owner Robert Sarver and general manager James Jones of the Phoenix Suns look on during the NBA pres...
Owner Robert Sarver and general manager James Jones of the Phoenix Suns look on during the NBA preseason game at Footprint Center on October 06, 2021 in Phoenix, Arizona. The Suns defeated the Lakers 117-105. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

The Phoenix Suns tip off their 2021-22 regular-season schedule against the Denver Nuggets at Footprint Center on Oct. 20.

And with the team coming off of a run to the NBA Finals for only the third time in league history, center Deandre Ayton’s contract situation has been a major discussion as the Valley’s oldest professional sports franchise seeks its first Larry O’Brien Trophy.

But Suns owner Robert Sarver was tight-lipped about the ongoing negotiations when asked about it on Wednesday.

“Well, I can’t blame you for asking, but as you know, we never discuss negotiations or personnel publicly,” Sarver told Arizona Sports’ Burns & Gambo.

“It’s just not fair to the players. That wouldn’t be fair to (GM) James (Jones) or the fans, so I’m going to pass on that one.”

However, the owner and center reportedly met at Sanctuary Camelback Mountain Resort on Monday night.

Sarver did say that he wants to eventually get a deal done and believes Jones is in continued discussions with Ayton’s agent.

“If we can get something that works for both sides, we definitely would,” Sarver said.

“As you know, in restricted free agency sometimes that happens and sometimes it doesn’t. Getting a deal done a year early is a little bit more challenging than getting a deal done at the beginning of a season.”

After being drafted No. 1 overall out of Arizona in the 2018 NBA Draft, Ayton can become a restricted free agent at the end of this season.

In restricted free agency, any team could match a non-max offer the Suns give Ayton to acquire the center’s services.

However, the biggest difference in restricted free agency is that the original team the player is on can offer the most money via a max contract.

And with the likes of Luka Doncic, Trae Young and Michael Porter Jr. — who were all selected after Ayton in the same draft class — already receiving max contract extensions with their respective teams, the Suns center has made it known he wants the same financial respect.

But the Suns owner doesn’t believe the uncertainty of the contract situation will hinder Phoenix’s chances of making another deep playoff run.

“I can’t speak for Deandre but I think he made his goals clear at media day in terms of what he wanted to try to accomplish this year and he’s had direct communications with our organization recently,” Sarver said. “He’s all in. I’m not concerned about that.”

Sarver did add that the team would be paying the luxury tax next season.

Phoenix Suns

Phoenix Suns guard Cameron Payne (15) passes as Portland Trail Blazers center Jusuf Nurkic (27) pur...
Arizona Sports

Suns G Cameron Payne out Saturday against Trail Blazers

Phoenix Suns backup point guard Cameron Payne will miss Saturday night's game against the Portland Trailer Blazers.
16 hours ago
Phoenix Suns center Deandre Ayton, right, scores over Los Angeles Lakers forward Anthony Davis duri...
Associated Press

Lakers’ Dwight Howard, Anthony Davis play down sideline incident

Dwight Howard and Anthony Davis say their confrontation on the Lakers' bench was a momentary disagreement that has already been resolved.
16 hours ago
Phoenix Suns guard Chris Paul (3) argues a call during the first half of an NBA basketball game aga...
Kellan Olson

Chris Paul provides ‘jumpstart’ to Suns in bounce-back win over Lakers

Nothing like a little get right game, and that's what the Phoenix Suns got on Friday night in Los Angeles against the Lakers.
2 days ago
Chris Paul #3 of the Phoenix Suns handles the ball during the second half of the NBA game at Footpr...
Arizona Sports

Chris Paul becomes 1st player with 20,000 points, 10,000 assists in NBA history

Another accolade for Phoenix Suns point guard Chris Paul, one of the greatest to ever do it at any position.
2 days ago
Phoenix Suns and Mercury owner Robert Sarver attends Game Two of the 2021 WNBA Finals at Footprint ...
Arizona Sports

Jordan Schultz further details expected report coming on Suns owner Robert Sarver

Sports reporter Jordan Schultz joined Arizona Sports to provide more details on his report of a story coming on Suns owner Robert Sarver.
2 days ago
Phoenix Suns and Mercury owner Robert Sarver walks on the court to congratulate players after the t...
Arizona Sports

Suns call unpublished story accusing owner Robert Sarver of sexism, racism full of ‘lies’

The Suns released a statement in response to an unpublished story that accuses owner Robert Sarver of racism, sexism and sexual harassment.
2 days ago
Suns’ Robert Sarver tight-lipped on Deandre Ayton’s contract extension