PHOENIX SUNS

Suns’ Monty Williams stands by Deandre Ayton’s usage in Game 7

May 17, 2022, 10:00 AM | Updated: 11:19 am
Head coach Monty Williams of the Phoenix Suns talks with Deandre Ayton #22 in the second half of ga...
Head coach Monty Williams of the Phoenix Suns talks with Deandre Ayton #22 in the second half of game two of the NBA Finals at Phoenix Suns Arena on July 08, 2021 in Phoenix, Arizona. The Suns defeated the Bucks 118-108. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

The Phoenix Suns’ 2021-22 season came to a crashing end with a 123-90 loss to the Dallas Mavericks in Game 7 at home.

Suns center Deandre Ayton played just 17 minutes in the 33-point loss and appeared to argue with head coach Monty Williams early in the third quarter.

Immediately after the loss Williams was asked about the center’s usage, but before the reporter could finish his question he received a quick answer from the 2021-22 NBA Coach of the Year.

“It’s internal,” Williams abruptly told reporters on Sunday.

Ayton finished Sunday’s game with five points, four rebounds and two assists.

Williams was asked during his exit interview with the media on Monday if he and the Suns’ 2018 No. 1 overall pick had a chance to speak following the loss.

“We didn’t,” Williams told reporters on Monday. “You know me, I am going to do everything I can to help us win games. At that point with the lead where it was, I made a decision to not put him back in the game. I’ll keep all the internal stuff internal, but it was just a decision I made. It also got to the point where I didn’t feel like Chris (Paul) and (Devin Booker) were going to help us at that particular point.”

“We haven’t talked, I talked to the team today but I have not talked to D.A.”

Ayton is due for a new contract this offseason but is a restricted free agent, meaning that Phoenix can match any offer sheet that is made to the big man.

He finished the season averaging 17.2 points, 10.2 rebounds and 1.4 assists per game on a career high 63.4% shooting.

Penguin Air

Comments

Comment guidelines: No name-calling, personal attacks, profanity, or insults. Please keep the conversation civil and help us moderate comments by reporting abuse.
comments powered by Disqus

Phoenix Suns

Phoenix Suns guard Cameron Payne, left, is hit in the face by Los Angeles Clippers forward Nicolas ...
Kevin Zimmerman

Suns free-agency focus: Wings, modern power forwards of note

The Phoenix Suns have been linked to Nicolas Batum before free agency and Thaddeus Young at past trade deadlines.
9 hours ago
Phoenix Suns center Deandre Ayton (22) dunks as New Orleans Pelicans center Jonas Valanciunas looks...
Arizona Sports

Report: Phoenix Suns tender qualifying offer to C Deandre Ayton

The Suns have reportedly tendered a $16.4 million qualifying offer to center Deandre Ayton, making him a restricted free agent on July 1.
9 hours ago
Kevin Durant #7 and Kyrie Irving #11 of the Brooklyn Nets look on in the final seconds of their 109...
Jake Anderson

Kyrie Irving opts into $36.5 million option with Brooklyn Nets, per reports

All-Star guard Kyrie Irving will be opting into his $36.5 million player option with the Brooklyn Nets, according to multiple reports.
1 day ago
Deandre Ayton #22 of the Phoenix Suns during the second half of the NBA game at Footprint Center on...
Jake Anderson

Odds of Deandre Ayton playing for Nets leap with Kyrie Irving uncertainty

With NBA free agency officially commencing on Thursday, oddsmakers are projecting where free agents will be playing next season.
1 day ago
Phoenix Suns forward Frank Kaminsky (8) shoots over Portland Trail Blazers center Jusuf Nurkic (27)...
Kevin Zimmerman

Suns free-agency focus: The center market after Deandre Ayton

The Suns will be hampered by the financial situation depending on if Deandre Ayton returns to Phoenix or not.
1 day ago
Deandre Ayton #22 of the Phoenix Suns dunks against the Atlanta Hawks in the first half at State Fa...
Arizona Sports

ESPN’s Pelton: NBA Draft potentially removed RFA Deandre Ayton suitor

Analyst Kevin Pelton included Ayton's future on a list of impactful decisions this summer, noting Detroit may no longer fit after the draft.
2 days ago
Suns’ Monty Williams stands by Deandre Ayton’s usage in Game 7