Deandre Ayton has agreed to a four-year, $133 million contract with the Indiana Pacers, according to theESPN insider Adrian Wojnarowski. The Bahamian pivot (23 years old) being a restricted free agent, the Phoenix Suns, the franchise he drafted him in 1st position in 2018, will have two days, from Friday 00:01, to match the offer, or let go of their pivot at the Pacers. Wojnarowski specifies that the first option holds the rope.
The announcement of this agreement could also encourage Phoenix to enter into negotiations with Indiana to negotiate a “sign-and-trade”, namely an exchange, which could allow the Suns not to lose Ayton without consideration. The Ayton-Indiana deal will not be officially validated by midnight Friday, which leaves Phoenix leeway to engage in discussions. Knowing that once the contract is signed, it will no longer be possible to complete a sign-and-trade.
Biggest offer ever signed by a restricted free agent
Indiana’s proposed contract would be the largest ever signed in NBA history between a franchise and a restricted free agent from another team. He is ahead of the Brooklyn Nets’ four-year, $107 million offer accepted by Otto Porter Jr. in 2017. The Washington Wizards then matched to retain the winger.
Ayton comes out of a fairly mixed season with 17.2 points and 10.2 rebounds on average, 63.4% shooting. If the Suns finished at the top of the Western Conference, the pivot made disappointing play-offs, and his team was eliminated in the second round, a year after reaching the NBA Finals in 2021.