Owner of the league’s No. 1 record from a season ago, the Phoenix Suns will now be tasked with deciding whether or not to allow a key component of that success to leave in the near future. Per ESPN’s Senior NBA Insider Adrian Wojnarowski, the Indiana Pacers and talented center Deandre Ayton have agreed to a four-year, $133 million offer sheet.
RFA center Deandre Ayton has agreed to a four-year, $133M maximum offer sheet with the Indiana Pacers, his agents Nima Namakian (Innovate Sports) and Bill Duffy (BDA Sports + WME Sports) tell ESPN. The Phoenix Suns have 48 hours to match the largest offer sheet in NBA history.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) July 14, 2022
This marks the largest offer sheet in NBA history, and one that the Suns will have 48 hours to match. As ESPN.com’s report notes, sign-and-trades are officially off the table once Ayton signs the offer sheet. This would also complicate the situation of how the Suns could acquire Kevin Durant, as Bobby Marks brought out.
Should the Suns match, they would be unable to deal Ayton in any sort of trade until Jan. 15 at the very least. Wojnarowski says that so far, they haven’t had any interest in matching the deal.
Ayton, a former No. 1 pick in the 2019 NBA Draft, has blossomed into one of the league’s better bigs. A talented pick-and-roll talent and scorer close to the rim, Ayton averaged 17.2 points and 10.2 rebounds on a career-high 63.4 percent from the field, 36.8 percent from 3-point range (on 19 attempts), and 74.6 percent from the field.
The 23-year-old has also averaged a double-double in every season of his career, and saw his numbers remain steady in the postseason.
If the move follows through, it could be a huge blow for the Suns, who’ve had back-to-back finishes as a top-two seed in the West. For the Pacers, it’d represent another neat addition to their young core.
Shams Charania of The Athletic is reporting that the Suns have matched the offer for Ayton and will retain his services for now.
Per collective bargaining agreement rules, Ayton cannot be traded in the next year without his consent.