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Phoenix Suns center DeAndre Ayton resigns for another four years

DeAndrew Ayton Resigns With Phoenix Suns

After a long series of negotiations that included a lot of trade rumors, the Phoenix Suns have finally re-signed center DeAndre Ayton in a deal that will span four years and is worth $133 million. It appears, for now, that the Suns will return the same core that lost in the NBA Finals one year ago and had the best record in the NBA during last regular season.

This deal is a smart deal from Phoenix, as it would have been foolish to let Ayton walk for free but it doesn’t come without drama. The Suns wavered and waited for a year and a half, trying to find a trade for Ayton that would keep the Suns out of the luxury tax but an offer sheet from the Indiana Pacers forced their hand. Ayton signed with the Pacers for the same number but, as a restricted free agent, the Suns ultimately were allowed to match the contract. While they did, they didn’t show a lot of confidence in their former number one overall pick by waiting so long to give him a contract.

Ayton is a key piece to the Suns, however, as they selected him first overall in the 2018 NBA draft. He may not have completely lived up the hype but he is a useful player. Last year Ayton averaged 17.2 points per game and 10.2 rebounds per game. He does not have the ability to shoot three pointers and that skill has limited his value to the Suns. The Suns are a notoriously cheap team, and didn’t want to commit to Ayton until the offer sheet from the Pacers forced them to match. Now, Ayton will be in Phoenix for the foreseeable future.

For now, the Phoenix Suns will return largely the same roster as last year. They went 64-18 in the 2021-2022 NBA regular season and earned the first seed in the Western Conference. However, it didn’t amount to anything as they lost in the second round of the playoffs to an inferior Dallas Mavericks team. Still though, this team is in the pantheon of NBA teams that can win an NBA title and losing Ayton would have put a large dent in their chances of a championship.

The key issue with the Suns is Chris Paul. Paul is still an elite point guard but has battled injuries in the past couple of seasons and is 37 years old. At some point, Paul will be aged out of basketball and it could happen in the near future. If he still plays at a top level, however, the trio of Paul, Ayton and all-NBA selection Devin Booker will be a force to be reckoned with. The Suns have also drafted well recently and have a lot of role players who fit in nicely around their star players.

The Suns currently have the fifth shortest odds to win the title next season at +700 with the top betting sites. With this roster, they will certainly be in contention but it’s not good value to bet on them now. Their odds are far too short considering the other teams and while the Suns are likely going to be a good regular season team, they haven’t made any big additions that would suggest they are going to fare better in the playoffs. While the Suns are a strong team, it’s hard to rely on them in the playoffs.

If someone were to bet on the Suns, they should take them at +140 to win the Pacific Division. They have proven to be dominant in the regular season and their main competition for this division is the Golden State Warriors, a team that doesn’t really care until the playoffs start. The Suns have a deep team that is built for the grind of the regular season and while that is valuable, their fans won’t care until they get a title.

Overall, Suns fans will be happy this DeAndre Ayton saga is ending. He has had one foot out of the door for a while but through it all, he is remaining a Sun. While it would have been nice to be able to trade him for Kevin Durant or a true super star, that has been proven to be a pipe dream so simply getting Ayton back will suffice. Phoenix should be back in the mix for the next season or two, but probably are still a piece away from truly scaring the rest of the league. Regardless, Ayton is turning 24 years old next week, so he can still add to his game and fully live up to his status as a number one overall pick in the NBA draft.

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