Less than 24 hours after being knocked out of the NBA playoffs, questions are being raised about whether the Phoenix Suns can bounce back as star superstar Diane Aiton has been embroiled in rumors of his name.
The Sun, who led the league to a regular-season win, set a franchise-record 64 games for the top pick in the NBA Western Conference before losing to Mavericks in the Seven Games in the conference semifinals.
Coming this season after leading 2-0 in the NBA Finals last year, it failed to rebound with a promising season.
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Monday’s 123-90 defeat on home court was not only a bad look, but the final score does not indicate how one-sided the game actually was. The Mavericks led by 46 points at one point and the game was not even remotely competitive.
The burning question for sun management is the future of Aitton. Star Center is now a limited free agent.
Aitton’s future is complicated after his demand for a big-money contract expansion was pushed back by the Sun last off-season. He is eligible for a five-year maximum extension worth just 0 240 million.
“Dandre Ayton didn’t feel valued by the Phoenix company. They weren’t able to come to an agreement on his rookie extensions and he saw that many top players were getting extensions and he wanted a maximum deal, he wouldn’t back down from it,” ESPN said after the Phoenix defeat. Its NBA insider Adrian Wozniacki says.
And if Tuesday’s defeat to the Mavericks could happen, the Sun appears to be at odds with the man they drafted with the No. 1 pick in 2018.
Eaton, who averaged just over 30 minutes per game in the playoffs, played 17 minutes in the loss, with Suns coach Monty Williams center bench in the second half.
Williams was asked about the finite minute of the limited volume and said it was “internal”.
American rapper Lil Owen, who was in the courtroom, told Fox Sports in the United States that “Monty was so upset with Eaton that he said, ‘You’re leaving us.’
Most of the Sun’s nuclei, including Paul, Booker, Mikal Bridges, Johnson and Jay Cradder, are under contract for next season.
Eaton began a slow start to his career – including a 25-game suspension for violating the league’s anti-drug program in 2019 – but he played a key role in the team’s run in the NBA Finals last season.
Speaking about the drama, former NBA three-point expert JJ Reddick said it was clear that Ayton was not offered the maximum deal due to problems outside the court.
“They have a reason not to maximize … it has nothing to do with play-off performance. They were good at last year’s play-off. They couldn’t maximize it because there are questions about his attitude and character,” Reddick said. .
Reddick suggested that the Suns would be better for a wing player for this off-season trading item to help the Suns expand the floor with two NBA All-Star Paul and Booker.
“He’s one of the people on your list with whom you can facilitate a sign-and-trade and potentially bring back a third player, a wing player, who can get you the bucket, who can guard you,” Reddick said.
“They don’t have that third option right now.”
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