DeAndre Ayton and Suns owner Robert Sarver have met this week amid an ugly contract feud -- grabbing a drink together at a fancy spot in Arizona ... TMZ Sports has learned. We've obtained photos of the two at Sanctuary Camelback Mountain Resort on Monday ... and witnesses tell us the guys appeared to be in talks over a new deal for Ayton.
Kellan Olson: Suns owner Robert Sarver on @BurnsAndGambo passed on questions about negotiations with Deandre Ayton before saying he believes James Jones is still having conversations with Ayton's agent and Sarver confirmed they want to get something done that works for both sides.
Kellan Olson: Deandre Ayton said he is really disappointed that he and the Suns have not been able to agree to a deal yet on a new contract extension. He loves Phoenix. Said they were 2 wins away from a title and wants to be respected like his peers in his draft class.
Two last things. In the offseason, I’m looking at Luka (Doncic), Trae (Young) get max extensions. Shai (Gilgeous-Alexander). When is Ayton going to get one? (Teams have until Oct. 18 to sign first rounders from the 2018 class to rookie contract extensions). Deandre Ayton: “All I want to do is win a championship. All I want to do is represent the city. Phoenix is where I’m at. Honestly, I’m expecting something to get done so we as a team can finish what we started, which is to bring a championship to Phoenix. Period. Literally.”
Duane Rankin: "It's not my job to pay a guy. If it was my job, everybody would be rich. I'd pay everybody. The cap isn't based on my heart. The organization would be broke, but everybody would be happy." Monty Williams on ESPN report #Suns max talks with Deandre Ayton bit.ly/3mvAfI4 pic.twitter.com/UnjetbDkBq
Bobby Marks: Another note on Deandre Ayton It is rare for a team to sign a player to a rookie max extension this late in the offseason. Since 2015, only 3 out of 17 rookie max extensions have been signed in October- Joel Embiid, Andrew Wiggins and Pascal Siakam.
The Phoenix Suns' reluctance to offer a maximum rookie contract extension to former No. 1 overall pick Deandre Ayton has stalled discussions on a deal, sources told ESPN on Tuesday. Ayton, a key part of the Suns' run to the 2021 NBA Finals, has no intention of accepting a deal less than the comparable max contracts signed by several of his 2018 NBA Draft classmates, including Atlanta's Trae Young, Dallas' Luka Doncic, Oklahoma City's Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Denver's Michael Porter Jr., sources told ESPN.
Ayton, 23, is eligible for a five-year, $172.5 million extension, with escalators that could reach $207 million -- a deal that many executives league-wide expected would be complete in short order this offseason. But now, with a looming Oct. 18 deadline for rookie extensions, sources said the talks between the Suns and Ayton's representatives are slowed by ownership's current assertion that Ayton doesn't deserve to be included in that group of players -- and a belief by the 7-footer that his performance, potential and the marketplace dictate that he does.
Kellan Olson: James Jones with @BurnsAndGambo said the Suns will continue to have conversations with Deandre Ayton and Mikal Bridges on potential extensions. They value continuity. Said the goal is for something to happen.
Ayton is eligible for a rookie extension — five-year max deal worth $168 million — this summer after signing a four-year, $40.3-million deal as the top overall pick in the 2018 draft out of Arizona. The max extension wouldn't kick in until the 2022-23 season, thus giving the Suns some flexibility when it comes to Paul, who has a player option of $44.2 million he can opt into, opt out of to test free agency, or negotiate a multiyear deal with the Suns. According to HoopsHype, Paul, 36, can exercise his player option with Phoenix and extend for "an additional two years for a maximum of $97 million," giving him $140 million over the next three seasons.
Marc Stein: Chris Paul just pointed to Deandre Ayton during his post-game interview with @Rachel__Nichols and announced that the Suns are "gonna get him a bag this summer." Like Luka Doncic and Trae Young, Ayton is eligible for a lucrative contract extension in the offseason.
Kellan Olson: Robert Sarver said on @BurnsAndGambo from a financial standpoint as an owner that he is ready to commit to keeping Mikal Bridges and Deandre Ayton. With timing and all that, James Jones and his group will figure out the moving pieces. They want to improve the team furhter.
October 21, 2021 | 3:56 am EDT Update
Duane Rankin: “One thing about me, throughout my whole life, I’ve always learned to control what I can control. At the same time, obviously I’m disappointed, but I’m still trying to get us back to the finals.” #Suns big Deandre Ayton addressing contract talks as they ended w/o an extension. pic.twitter.com/nJPmkUMqCi
That’s what matters now more than anything for LaVine — getting wins. Will victories influence him to want to stay with the Bulls or will he look to go elsewhere? Talk for another day. “I wouldn’t even be worried about my contract situation,’’ LaVine said. “I’m worried about Game 1 and seeing where it goes from there. When that time comes, we’ll see what happens and go from there, but I’m worried about the Bulls’ season right now.’’
Goorjian’s comments come after Aussie basketball icon Andrew Bogut weighed in on the “ugly” stand-off between Simmons and the 76ers. “It’s not good for either party, in my opinion. Ben’s side of things, training with your phone in your pocket, not being glued in to what’s going on,” Bogut told SEN on Wednesday. “Unfortunately, he has form doing these kinds of things; we experienced it with the national team. “There’s not going to be too much sympathy for him, but hopefully they can sort it out and both parties can have something positive to come out of it.”
When asked what he would do if he was in Simmons’ shoes, Bogut’s response was simple: “make your own decisions and be professional”. “It’s paramount that you come in, whether you want to be in Philly or not,” Bogut said. “Just show up. “You don’t have to do all the kumbaya stuff, you don’t have to hang around in the locker room, you don’t have to shoot the breeze with the players and the coaches and act like you like them.
“I’m disappointed with Ben Simmons,” Goorjian told SEN Breakfast on Thursday. “I look at it and go God, man, please fix this and let this kid blossom “It looks unattainable right now, though I don’t know that you can do anything other than (what the 76ers) did. “You’ve got a guy who needs to be moved, how do you move him? “That it’s at this point is horrible and I don’t have an answer to how you deal with a situation like that.
“He’s special, and he’s a tremendous talent, and I would love and I hope that the opportunity presents itself or he gets to a situation where he can show who he is. “He’s also a very good teammate. He’s been criticised … (but) he’s conscious of getting other people involved in the game. It’s what he does. “It’s not my situation, but I look at the kid as being part of our family.”
JD Shaw: Nine-year NBA veteran Lance Stephenson ( @StephensonLance ) has signed a contract in the NBA G League and will enter the October 23 draft, @HoopsRumors has learned. Stephenson last played in China.