Suns' Monty Williams on Deandre Ayton: 'We Don't Need to Air Anything Out'

Tyler Conway@@jtylerconwayFeatured Columnist IVOctober 4, 2022

NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA - APRIL 24: Deandre Ayton #22 and Head coach Monty Williams of the Phoenix Suns react during Game Four of the Western Conference First Round NBA Playoffs against the New Orleans Pelicans at the Smoothie King Center on April 24, 2022 in New Orleans, Louisiana. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)
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Deandre Ayton and Monty Williams didn't end last season on the best of terms, but the Phoenix Suns head coach said the pair have not met to hash out any lingering issues.

"We don't need to air anything out. That's my point. I'm not gonna keep addressing that," Williams told reporters Tuesday. "It's like, he's the player, I'm the coach. Just like with Book and Chris and Mikal, D.A. gets his work in every day. He's 22 and 12 in 20 minutes. Those are the kind of things that we expect from him. I don't need to sit down and talk to him about it."

PHNX Suns @PHNX_Suns

Monty Williams was again asked whether he’s spoken to Deandre Ayton and if they’ve gotten a chance to air things out.<br><br>“We don’t need to air anything out. That’s my point. I’m not gonna keep addressing that.” <a href="https://t.co/UJeRZqGpUR">pic.twitter.com/UJeRZqGpUR</a>

Williams played Ayton for only 17 minutes in the Suns' Game 7 loss to the Dallas Mavericks last year in the Western Conference Semifinals. Reports of the coach's simmering frustration with Ayton soon followed, and the center said the two did not speak the entire offseason.

"I haven't spoken to him at all, ever since the game," Ayton told reporters last week. "I can show him better than I can tell him. It's life. Nobody cares about the uncomfortable nature of it. It's how you perform and what you bring to the table. What's said is already said."

The Suns' relationship with Ayton as a whole was not in the best place since the team refused to offer him a max contract extension last fall. Phoenix instead allowed Ayton to hit restricted free agency and then matched a four-year, $133 million offer sheet he signed with the Indiana Pacers.

The move saved the Suns some money over the course of the contract and avoided a potential fifth year, but it's hard to say the move was worth the trouble of creating behind-the-scenes tension that has carried on for at least a year.

Regardless of what's publicly said, a coach and player not speaking at all over an entire offseason doesn't seem like a healthy dynamic—particularly given where Ayton and Williams left things last season.

Williams may not be in love with the line of questioning, but he's spearheading a team that embarrassed itself in a Game 7 last season and then kicked off the preseason by losing to the National Basketball League's Adelaide 36ers.

The Suns better start off the regular season hot, or the chorus of concern will only grow.