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.
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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.
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September 27, 2021 | 9:54 am EDT Update
Zach Lowe: Kyrie Irving is not expected to attend Nets media day today due to New York City health and safety protocols but the Nets fully expect Irving to accompany the team to training camp in San Diego, sources tell @WindhorstESPN and I.
Quinton Mayo: Wizards F Rui Hachimura informed the team and coaching staff via text last week that he’d be absent from the beginning of training camp. Hachimura is using the time to address his mental health, per sources.
When asked to address the faction of fans — however small or large it might be — that disagrees with the Thunder’s long-term rebuilding strategy, doesn’t fully understand it, or has already lost patience with it, Presti chuckled. “We’re one season into that,” he said.
“I don’t think Oklahomans expect things to be given to them,” Presti said. “I don’t think they expect things to be handed to them. I never really heard Oklahomans talk about taking the easy way or shortcutting things or not putting in a hard day’s work or not earning what you get.”
September 27, 2021 | 9:36 am EDT Update
Towns received treatment at an area hospital, then quarantined at home for the next few weeks, isolated from friends and family. Basketball had been the closest thing in his life to an outlet. Now, by himself, he had no choice but to confront the pain that followed his mother’s sudden death. “I’ve had a lot of situations this year where things were just too much for me,” Towns says. “I just remember [quarantining] in the house, and it was more than just COVID for me. I felt like I was going through a holistic journey.”