The Phoenix Suns appeared to be sitting pretty. Phoenix is reportedly one of if not the preferred destination for Brooklyn Nets superstar Kevin Durant. Budding superstar Devin Booker was named as the cover athlete for NBA2k23, and the Suns were recently named the favorite to win the 2023 NBA Championship according to bedding odds.
Now that may all being going out the window. Except the Devin Booker thing, of course, that stays.
ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported on Thursday afternoon that restricted free agent center Deandre Ayton agreed to an offer sheet with the Indiana Pacers.
RFA center Deandre Ayton has agreed to a four-year, $133M maximum offer sheet with the Indiana Pacers, his agents Nima Namakian (Innovate Sports) and Bill Duffy (BDA Sports + WME Sports) tell ESPN. The Phoenix Suns have 48 hours to match the largest offer sheet in NBA history.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) July 14, 2022
The four-year, $133 million deal is largest offer sheet in league history. Phoenix has been adamant that it doesn’t intend to offer Ayton big money. But talks have slowed recently as the Suns try to architect a deal for Durant. Ayton was expected to be at the center of those talks, but this could blow that all up.
Woj then went on ESPN and said that while an offer sheet was agreed upon, it was not signed. So the Suns could still work out a sign-and-trade to recover assets for Ayton. If they do not, Phoenix has 48 hours to respond to the offer sheet or lose Ayton for nothing.
Woj says Ayton has not signed the offer sheet and an S&T is still possible, trying to figure out if he's banging on a desk to make his points pic.twitter.com/dyhyRdwl2q
— CJ Fogler account may or may not be notable (@cjzero) July 14, 2022
Should Phoenix match, it also could no longer include Ayton in any sort of Durant trade until January 15, 2023 due to league rules. In short, the Suns are *redacted*.
Phoenix fans were not happy at all with how this played out.
Woj just said on ESPN that Ayton hasn't signed the offer sheet yet but is expected to at some point today, and he specifically said there's still time to work out a sign-and-trade.
If the Suns let him walk for nothing they are an unserious franchise and should be relegated.
— sreekar (@sreekyshooter) July 14, 2022
— Minoru-kun (@Minoru79) July 14, 2022
Ah, so technically, the Ayton trade window is not *officially* closed yet. But obviously trending that way.
P.S. These restricted FA offer sheets were way more fun a decade ago, when NYK execs literally went into hiding so they couldn't receive HOU's offer sheet for Jeremy Lin https://t.co/z8hMHtzZDg
— Ben DuBose (@BenDuBose) July 14, 2022
so now Indy has all the leverage lol.
either take Turner and that's it or match the offer and deal with a very awkward Ayton situation for a year.
or let him go to Indy for nothing.
so do Suns prefer getting Turner back or not. probly what it comes down to. https://t.co/Zy0xK6Z78p
— Yuri Gagarin (@YuriGag62230377) July 14, 2022
I hope this is the route we end up going. Get something for a guy who doesn’t want to be here anymore and get KD. James Jones better figure this out or we go from contenders to average very quickly https://t.co/o8Ldfj5WZM
— Gordon W. (@miniflash) July 14, 2022
The tables have once again turned in Phoenix, and Suns fans aren’t enjoying the ride.