Deandre Ayton Hit With 25-Game Suspension

8:28pm: The NBA has officially announced the suspension, per a release.

7:58pm: Suns center Deandre Ayton is facing a 25-game suspension for violating the NBA’s Anti-Drug policy with a positive test for a diuretic, league sources tell Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.

In a series of follow-up tweets, Woj adds that the NBPA is already preparing an arbitration case in an effort to reduce or rescind the suspension based on a belief that the positive test falls under the CBA provision of “unintentional ingestion.” Support for that belief lies partly in a follow-up test showing no traces of any other banned substances (links here).

In a statement (per Woj), Ayton says:

“I want to apologize to my family, the entire Suns organization, my teammates, partners, our fans and the Phoenix community. This was an unintentional mistake and unfortunately I put something in my body that I was completely unaware of.”

“I do understand the unfortunate impact that this has on so many others, and for that I am deeply sorry. I’m extremely disappointed that I’ve let my team down. I will continue to work with the NBPA to go through arbitration and am hopeful of a positive resolution.”

Bobby Marks of ESPN adds that Ayton’s suspension will cost him about $2.17MM and that Phoenix will be permitted to add a 16th player to their roster after their game against Memphis on November 2.

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