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.”

Penguin Air

Empire of the Suns

Phoenix Suns guard Chris Paul (3) dishes off as Dallas Mavericks forward Davis Bertans (44) defends...
Kellan Olson

Phoenix Suns squander opportunity against Doncic-less Mavericks

Luka Doncic's injury gave the Phoenix Suns a great opportunity at a win on Thursday but they fell apart against the Dallas Mavericks.
1 day ago
Mikal Bridges #25 of the Phoenix Suns handles the ball during the second half of the NBA game at Fo...
Kellan Olson

Mikal Bridges’ successful trial by fire is what both he and Suns needed

Injuries forced the Phoenix Suns to use small forward Mikal Bridges as a ball-handler and it has paid off in a big way.
3 days ago
Charlotte Hornets guard Terry Rozier tries to slip past Phoenix Suns guard Chris Paul, left, and Ph...
Kellan Olson

Phoenix Suns take care of business, pick up 4th straight win vs. Hornets

The Phoenix Suns need to, as their point guard Chris Paul says, start to pile on wins. They are now doing just that.
3 days ago
Phoenix Suns guard Chris Paul (3) runs away from Memphis Grizzlies guard Ja Morant (12) during the ...
Kellan Olson

Suns hold off Grizzlies’ comeback, Chris Paul’s return sparks 3rd straight win

The return of Chris Paul got the Phoenix Suns a surprising win over the Memphis Grizzlies to make it three in a row.
6 days ago
Phoenix Suns' Josh Okogie (2) goes to the basket against Indiana Pacers' Buddy Hield (24) during th...
Kellan Olson

Phoenix Suns’ unheralded reserves step up big in win over Pacers

The Phoenix Suns' players on the back half of the bench have had no choice but to step up and they did on Saturday in a win.
7 days ago
Cameron Johnson #23 of the Phoenix Suns chases down a pass in front of Day'Ron Sharpe #20 of the Br...
Kellan Olson

Cam Johnson’s play shows Suns can start building positive momentum

It's going to be easier for the Phoenix Suns to get back to what they do, both individually and collectively, with bodies returning.
8 days ago
Deandre Ayton’s Suns teammates want RFA C back, supporting him