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NBA Rumors: Latest Buzz on DeAndre Ayton's Failed Contract Talks, Collin Sexton

Jake RillFeatured Columnist IIOctober 19, 2021

Phoenix Suns center Deandre Ayton (22) passes the ball away from Los Angeles Lakers forward Anthony Davis, right, during the first half of a preseason NBA basketball game Wednesday, Oct. 6, 2021, in Phoenix.(AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)
Ross D. Franklin/Associated Press

Monday was the final day of the NBA offseason, and it was an important one. That's because 6 p.m. ET marked the deadline for players from the 2018 draft class to sign a rookie contract extension with their teams and lock up their status for the future.

Plenty of news came out leading up to and beyond that deadline. While some players agreed to extensions and will be guaranteed to stick with their current teams a bit longer, others will now face free agency at the end of the 2021-22 season, which gets underway Tuesday.

Now that the rookie contract extension deadline has passed, here's some of the latest buzz from around the NBA.

            

Ayton Unhappy With Suns After Failed Negotiations

DeAndre Ayton was the No. 1 overall pick in the 2018 NBA draft, and he's gone on to become a standout for the Phoenix Suns. However, he and the Western Conference champions weren't on the same page during recent negotiations.

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ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski and Brian Windhorst reported that the 23-year-old "held firm" during negotiations leading up to Monday's extension deadline, as he wanted a full five-year max contract. However, the Suns, who had brought up a potential three- or four-year deal for the center, never gave him an offer before the deadline passed.

The deal Ayton wanted would have been worth $172.5 million in guaranteed money, plus escalators, according to the report. And there's now some uncertainty regarding his future in Phoenix and what could happen down the line.

"The franchise center is unhappy with the franchise's consistent stance to his representatives that the organization simply didn't foresee him as a max player—regardless of which of his peers in the 2018 NBA draft class earned max deals this offseason, sources said," Wojnarowski and Windhorst wrote.

After the 2021-22 season, the Arizona product is set to become a restricted free agent, so the Suns will still be able to match any offer sheets. However, if he signs a qualifying offer with Phoenix for 2022-23, he could become an unrestricted free agent the following summer.

Ayton has played 178 games over his first three NBA seasons. In 2020-21, he averaged 14.4 points and 10.5 rebounds in 69 games while shooting a career-best 62.6 percent from the field.

             

Sexton, Cavaliers Don't Reach Agreement on Extension

Tony Dejak/Associated Press

Ayton wasn't the only player who couldn't come to terms with his team on an extension to his rookie contract. According to Kelsey Russo of The Athletic, Collin Sexton and the Cleveland Cavaliers couldn't work out a deal, meaning the point guard will be a restricted free agent next summer.

Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com reported that the 22-year-old was looking for a multi-year deal worth more than $100 million. However, he and the Cavs couldn't reach an agreement.

"There were multiple structures discussed. Different lengths. Incentives. Unique clauses. Bonuses. The Cavs never found a comfortable deal," Fedor wrote.

Although that didn't happen, Cleveland still wants Sexton to remain with the team and views him as a "core piece" of its rebuild, per Fedor. And there's always the possibility he'll sign a long-term deal with the team at some point.

Sexton was taken by the Cavaliers with the No. 8 overall pick in the 2018 NBA draft. Since then, he's continued to improve throughout his three seasons. He averaged a career-high 24.3 points and 4.4 assists in 60 games during the 2020-21 campaign.

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