Suns’ Jones: We are excited to keep Deandre(Ayton) at home in the Valley where he belongs

The Phoenix Suns have re-signed center Deandre Ayton to a multi-year contract, the team announced Monday.

According to reports, Ayton, who was a restricted free agent, signed a four-year, $133 million offer sheet(largest offer sheet in league history) with the Indiana Pacers, which the Suns later matched. 

“Deandre is a force on both ends of the floor, who has elevated his game every year and will continue to do so,” said General Manager James Jones said via press release from team. “DA is so important to what we do, and without him, we could not have reached our recent levels of success. We are excited to keep Deandre at home in the Valley where he belongs.”

Ayton (6-11, 250 pounds) is coming off the 2021-22 season in which he averaged 17.2 points on a career-high and franchise-record 63.4% shooting plus 10.2 rebounds, ranking in the NBA’s top ten in both field goal percentage and rebounds per game for the second consecutive season. He recorded his 3,000th career point and 2,000th career rebound this past season, becoming the second-fastest player to reach these milestones in a Suns uniform behind only Charles Barkley.

“I’m happy to put free agency behind me and ready to work and compete for a championship with my teammates,” said Ayton via press release from team.

Through his first four NBA seasons, Ayton holds career averages of 16.3 points on 59.9% shooting from the field plus 10.5 rebounds and 1.0 blocks in 236 games with the Suns. His 59.9% field goal percentage is the highest by a player averaging a double-double through four seasons in NBA history. He joins Barkley and Shaquille O’Neal as the only players to average a double-double on at least 57% shooting through four career seasons. 

The 23-year-old Ayton has appeared in 35 postseason games with the Suns over the last two seasons, averaging 16.6 points on 65.1% from the field and 10.7 rebounds in those games, the only player ever to average at least 15 points, and 10 rebounds on over 60% shooting through his first 35 career postseason games. He was pivotal during the Suns’ run to the NBA Finals in 2021, averaging 15.8 points and 11.8 rebounds, with his 65.8% marking the highest field goal percentage by a player in a single postseason in NBA history (min. 100 FGM), breaking a record previously set by James Worthy in 1985.

The first No. 1 overall pick in Suns’ history, Ayton was the top selection in the 2018 NBA Draft after one season at the University of Arizona. A native of Nassau, Bahamas, he became the first No. 1 pick in NBA history to be selected by a team in the same state where he played basketball in high school (Phoenix’s Hillcrest Prep) and college. 

Leave a Reply