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DeAndre Ayton’s agent: “We’re disappointed. We wanted a max contract.”

2022 NBA Playoffs - 	Dallas Mavericks v Phoenix Suns

PHOENIX, AZ - MAY 2: Deandre Ayton #22 of the Phoenix Suns looks on before the game against the Dallas Mavericks during Game 1 of the 2022 NBA Playoffs Western Conference Semifinals on May 2, 2022 at Footprint Center in Phoenix, Arizona. 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. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2022 NBAE (Photo by Barry Gossage/NBAE via Getty Images)

NBAE via Getty Images

Before the season tipped off, the Phoneix Suns and center Deandre Ayton couldn’t agree on a contract extension. The negotiations were straightforward: A former No. 1 pick, Ayton wanted a max extension. The Suns said no.

It’s no secret that created tension, and Ayton’s agent Bill Duffy confirmed that in an interview with Justin Termine and Eddie Johnson on SiriusXM NBA Radio from Chicago last week.

“We’re disappointed. We wanted a max contract. He went out and was a solider the whole year, played well, improved his statistics. So, we’re proud of him. A lot of guys handle things differently, but he was very mature about it. Things will work out for Deandre. He’s a valuable player. There’s other teams in the league as well. He’s a restricted free agent, so we’ll see how this process unfolds.”

Duffy is right, things likely will work out for Ayton with other teams reportedly willing to make a max offer to poach the Suns’ big man — something the Suns may welcome if they want to shake up their roster after an earlier-than-expected playoff exit.

If Ayton moves on, this likely ends with a sign-and-trade involving a team looking for another center (Charlotte, Toronto, Portland and Indiana have been mentioned, as has Detroit but the Pistons could create max cap space and just make an offer).

Is Ayton a deserving max player? He improved this season, averaSuns'17.2 points on 63.4% shooting, plus pulled down 10.2 rebounds a game. However, he was inconsistent night-to-night and just okay on the defensive end (the Suns’ defense was 2.3 points per 100 possessions worse with him on the floor). In the playoffs, the up-and-down nature of Ayton’s games continued.

That’s not going to scare some teams off. One way or another Ayton is getting paid this summer.