EMPIRE OF THE SUNS

Deandre Ayton’s Suns teammates want RFA C back, supporting him

Jun 22, 2022, 8:09 PM
Deandre Ayton #22 of the Phoenix Suns high fives Ish Wainright #12 after scoring against the Dallas...
Deandre Ayton #22 of the Phoenix Suns high fives Ish Wainright #12 after scoring against the Dallas Mavericks during the second half of Game Two of the Western Conference Second Round NBA Playoffs at Footprint Center on May 04, 2022 in Phoenix, Arizona. The Suns defeated the Mavericks 129-109. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

PHOENIX — The timing of JaVale McGee’s sixth annual Water For Life Charity Softball Game on Wednesday opened the opportunity for us to hear from him and his Phoenix Suns teammates a few weeks after the season had ended.

The number one topic, of course, a day before the NBA Draft and two weeks before free agency is restricted free agent Deandre Ayton and the uncertainty surrounding his future in Phoenix.

Ayton, who was not one of the handful of Suns players at the event, clearly has the support of his teammates but they all know it’s out of their hands.

“Things are going to play out over time,” Suns forward Cam Johnson said of the process. “Obviously, that’s our guy and we love having him around but the future will play out how it plays out. I wish I had more of a say in what happens. We all wish we could just puppet master everything sometimes. We’ll see in a couple of weeks, couple days what happens.”

Point guard Chris Paul was asked what advice he would offer, as well as his own general thoughts on the situation.

“Control what you can control,” he said. “It’s summertime. It’s a good problem to have, if it is a problem. For me, during all those stressful situations and whatnot, going to try to spend as much time with my family as possible.”

Paul was also asked about how great it feels to see his teammates get rewarded with a new contract after all the work that is put in.

“It’s great for any of ’em,” Paul said. “All of our teammates. We try to celebrate everything. But it’s a business. What’s good for you may not be good for the next person or whatnot.”

Ayton is close with Suns forward Mikal Bridges, his fellow 2018 NBA Draft selection that called Ayton his best friend.

Bridges and Johnson have referred to each other as “twin” and this year that group became “the triplets” with Ayton.

Bridges said Ayton’s future and basketball, in general, hasn’t come up much when they’ve been around each other since the end of the season.

“When we talk and hang out, it’s just about life and just chilling, geeking around,” Bridges said. “We don’t really talk about none of that’s stuff. We just kind of talk about life and have fun.”

As Johnson said, we’ll just see how things shake out.

“Obviously, I got no control,” Bridges said. “Just watch and see what happens and hoping he stays.”

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