Deandre Ayton, fresh off of his first NBA Finals appearance with the Suns, is eligible for a five-year, $168MM max contract that would kick in at the start of the 2022/23 season, and Duane Rankin of The Arizona Republic takes a look at what could be next for the big man.
Ayton’s career lows in PPG and APG were a result more of the context of adding Chris Paul and reorganizing the offense, rather than any regression on Ayton’s end, Rankin writes. In fact, Ayton’s growth as a team-first player willing to do whatever it takes for the success of the Suns adds even more appeal for the club as it decides if it will offer him a max deal.
“If sacrificing is leading the wins and where we are today, I’ll sacrifice everything, you know what I’m saying,” Ayton said. “Everything (Paul’s) told me has led up to here, so why stop now?”
We have more news from the Pacific Division:
- Kai Jones, the big man out of Texas, interviewed with Lakers president of basketball operations Rob Pelinka at the NBA Combine, and has since worked out at the team’s facility, tweets Kyle Goon of The Orange County Register. The big man out of the Bahamas is a Klutch Sports client who participated in Rich Paul‘s Klutch Pro Day, so the Lakers figure to be very familiar with him. Jones is considered to have one of the widest draft ranges in the first round, as he could go anywhere from the top-10 to the early 20s.
- The Lakers worked out six prospects yesterday, tweets Brad Turner of The Los Angeles Times: Josh Christopher, Joshua Primo, Marcus Zegarowski, Anthony Tarke, Jayvon Graves, and Eugene Omoruyi. Christopher and Primo are potentially candidates for the Lakers’ pick at 22. The Lakers are also working out six prospects today, tweets Goon: Carlik Jones, Feron Hunt, Jeremiah Tilmon, Mitchell Ballock, Greg Brown, and Neemias Queta. The Lakers don’t have a second-round pick but could try to trade into the second round.
- The Warriors are bringing back Chris Duarte and Trey Murphy III for second workouts this weekend, tweets Jonathan Wasserman of Bleacher Report. While the 14th pick may be seen as a slight reach for the two older prospects, either would fit in right away with the Warriors’ needs and could have untapped upside in the team’s system.