More HoopsHype Rumors
October 20, 2021 | 3:09 pm EDT Update
The 2018 No. 1 overall pick — who helped lead Phoenix to the 2021 NBA Finals — was reportedly expecting an offer, but it never came. Ayton expressed his disappointment about the development. He can still re-sign with the Suns in restricted free agency after fielding offers from around the league. “My biggest advice for him is: control what you can control and that’s how you go out and hoop,” Paul said, per AZ Central’s Duane Rankin. “Things happen, the business of the game, but I know DA’s heart … and how competitive he is. At the end of the day, he wants to do a good job for our team. And I appreciate him for that. I know when we step out on the court tonight, it’s going to be all about what he’s gotta do to help our team win.”
Storyline: Deandre Ayton Free Agency
Ball also compared his mindset as a player to those who took the court during Jordan’s dominance in the 80s and 90s as we discussed his accelerated return from a broken wrist. He could have been out of action until the summer, but with the Hornets’ postseason chances fading, he was back from the injury in just five weeks. “I feel like I still kind of got that mentality that they had back in the day,” Ball said. “Even with the switching teams and stuff, they never used to do that. You go to one team, you stay there.”
Why he brought it up, players hopping from team to team, including today by forcing a trade with multiple years and millions of dollars left on their contracts, was unclear. But at his tender age, and so early in his career, with a franchise owned by the legendary Jordan trying to build around him, Ball sounds like he wants the responsibility of helping Jordan in Charlotte. “You supposed to just go to a team and build from there — I feel like that’s how it should be,” Ball said. “Especially when you like a high pick too, most likely going to a team that wasn’t as good, so you try to make them better. I feel like that’s the whole process right there.”
October 20, 2021 | 1:37 pm EDT Update
Although both Walker and the Celtics stressed the knee issue that had ended his season two games early wasn’t the same one that plagued him throughout his second year in Boston, it didn’t change the fact he was 13-for-41 overall and 3-for-17 from 3-point range before being shut down. “He couldn’t make a 3, couldn’t finish in the paint and couldn’t guard anyone,” a Western Conference executive said. “The knee just wasn’t in a good enough place.”