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Deandre Ayton free agency live updates: Phoenix Suns match Indiana Pacers' offer sheet

Deandre Ayton is returning to the Suns after Phoenix matched the Indiana Pacers' offer sheet for the restricted free agent center. 

Check out the NBA rumors, reports and speculation involving Ayton and the Phoenix Suns leading up to his new contract.

More: Suns match $133M max offer from Pacers to keep Deandre Ayton in Phoenix

More: Kevin Durant trade live updates: Brooklyn Nets speculation, rumors, news, trade reports

ESPN: Suns match Pacers' offer sheet for Deandre Ayton

Adrian Wojnarowski tweeted: "As soon as the Suns received the four-year, $133M offer sheet, the franchise matched it. Deandre Ayton returns to Phoenix and can't be traded without his consent for a full year."

Spotrac: Suns save money by matching Pacers' offer sheet for Deandre Ayton

Michael Ginnitti tweeted: "Did the #Suns get pushed around by letting the #Pacers offer sheet Deandre Ayton, or was this the plan all along? Phoenix was able to offer Ayton a max 5 years, $179.3M, or 4 years, $138.5M. The matched contract comes in at 4 years, $132.9M"

ESPN: Deandre Ayton signs offer sheet with Indiana Pacers

Adrian Wojnarowski tweeted: "ESPN Sources: Restricted free agent C Deandre Ayton has signed the four-year, $133M offer sheet with the Pacers and now the Suns are on the clock to match it. Expectation remains that the Suns will do so and retain Ayton, but they could take the process through Saturday night."

More: Indiana Pacers, Deandre Ayton agree to 4-year, $133M max offer sheet; Suns have 48 hours to match

May 15, 2022; Phoenix, Arizona, USA; Phoenix Suns center Deandre Ayton (22) reacts during a break in play against the Dallas Mavericks during game seven of the second round for the 2022 NBA playoffs at Footprint Center.
May 15, 2022; Phoenix, Arizona, USA; Phoenix Suns center Deandre Ayton (22) reacts during a break in play against the Dallas Mavericks during game seven of the second round for the 2022 NBA playoffs at Footprint Center.

ESPN: 'Expectation remains' that Suns will match Deandre Ayton's offer sheet from Pacers

Adrian Wojnarowski tweeted: "So far, Suns haven't shown an interest in negotiating a sign-and-trade on Ayton with the Pacers, but the expectation remains that Phoenix will match the record-$133M offer sheet once it's signed, sources tell ESPN. Suns could trade Ayton as soon as Jan. 15 once sheet is matched."

The Herd: Reaction to Ayton's offer sheet with Pacers

Jason McIntyre said: "This is devastating. They took him before Luka Doncic and now you're going to lose him for nothing?"

ESPN: Pacers wanted to negotiate sign-and-trade with Suns for Deandre Ayton

Brian Windhorst said: "They wanted to negotiate a sign-and-trade with Phoenix and had discussions to that end. They couldn't agree to terms. ... The Pacers are tired of waiting and they went for it and made this move."

Clutch Points: Deandre Ayton offer sheet crushes Suns' Kevin Durant hopes

Kendall Capps writes: "If the Suns match the Pacers offer to retain Ayton, the center now has veto power over any trade in the future. If he doesn’t want to go to Brooklyn who would appear to be starting over, he could simply say no. Making things even more interesting is the fact that if the Suns match the offer, they will enter the luxury tax for the first time since 2009. Generally, Phoenix has been fiscally responsible and would prefer not to do that. However you slice it, Thursday’s developments have all but crushed the hopes of the Suns trading for Kevin Durant. A package of Mikal Bridges, Jae Crowder and a couple late first-round picks just won’t get it done."

ESPN: Ayton offer sheet with Pacers 'complicates' Suns' Durant chances

Bobby Marks said: "(The Suns) are not eliminated but it certainly does complicate a lot of things here with Durant."

Deandre Ayton offer sheet doesn't crush Suns' Kevin Durant hopes?

Others weren't so sure the Suns were out of the Kevin Durant sweepstakes quite yet.

ESPN: Deandre Ayton agrees to offer sheet with Indiana Pacers

Adrian Wojnarowski tweeted: "RFA center Deandre Ayton has agreed to a four-year, $133M maximum offer sheet with the Indiana Pacers, his agents Nima Namakian (Innovate Sports) and Bill Duffy (BDA Sports + WME Sports) tell ESPN. The Phoenix Suns have 48 hours to match the largest offer sheet in NBA history."

ESPN: What Deandre Ayton offer sheet means for Suns

ESPN's Bobby Marks tweeted out what the offer sheet means for the Suns.

"Phoenix has until Saturday night at 11:59PM ET. to match the largest offer sheet in NBA history. The contract is binding and a sign-and-trade cannot be completed. If Phoenix matches, Ayton has veto power on any trade after Jan. 15. He cannot be traded to Indiana."

ESPN: Suns have time to work out sign-and-trade with Pacers

The Suns could still work out a sign-and-trade deal involving Deandre Ayton, but they won't have much time to do it.

ESPN's Bobby Marks tweeted: "Because the clock to match doesn’t start until midnight, both sides still have time work out a sign-and-trade before the offer sheet is officially signed."

Has Deandre Ayton signed the offer sheet with Pacers?

The ESPN report indicates that Ayton has agreed to an offer sheet with the Pacers, but hasn't signed one, which means that Phoenix could still use Ayton in a sign-and-trade.

May 15, 2022; Phoenix, Arizona, USA; Phoenix Suns center Deandre Ayton arrives for game seven of the second round for the 2022 NBA playoffs at Footprint Center.
May 15, 2022; Phoenix, Arizona, USA; Phoenix Suns center Deandre Ayton arrives for game seven of the second round for the 2022 NBA playoffs at Footprint Center.

DraftKings: Pacers, Suns, Nets have best odds for Deandre Ayton in 2022-23 season

Draft Kings released updated odds on which team Deandre Ayton will play his next regular season minute for and the Indiana Pacers are the favorite at -175.

The Suns, Ayton's current team, are second at +190. The Brooklyn Nets are third at +400.

Rounding out the Top 5 in the odds for the centers next team are the Detroit Pistons (+800) and the San Antonio Spurs (+900).

Where will the big man play next season?

Odds seem to favor Deandre Ayton playing for either the Indiana Pacers, Phoenix Suns or Brooklyn Nets next NBA season.
Odds seem to favor Deandre Ayton playing for either the Indiana Pacers, Phoenix Suns or Brooklyn Nets next NBA season.

Indianapolis Star: Pacers don't have cap space to offer Deandre Ayton max deal, yet

James Boyd writes: "The reason Ayton's offer sheet would most likely get matched is because Phoenix won't let the former lottery pick leave for nothing in return. Plus, even if the Suns finally pay Ayton what he wants, they could still trade him for assets down the line, with the earliest date for a trade being Dec. 15, per the NBA's collective bargaining agreement. If Indiana wants to be aggressive and force Phoenix's hand, it could waive Washington, whose $1.6 million for the 2022-23 season has not been guaranteed, according to Spotrac. The team could trade former lottery pick Goga Bitadze, who's owed $4.8 million for the upcoming season. And as Marks mentioned, the Pacers could waive former IU star Juwan Morgan, Nik Stauskas and Malik Fitts — who were acquired from the Celtics in a trade for Malcolm Brogdon — and stretch their guaranteed money over the next few seasons. Those decisions would clear enough cap space for Ayton."

ESPN: Pacers are best fit for Deandre Ayton

Kendrick Perkins detailed why Indiana would be the best landing spot for the center.

Fansided: What happens if Pacers miss out on Deandre Ayton?

Nicolas Kyle Pring writes: "Failing to acquire Deandre Ayton will not in any form mean the end of the world for the Indiana Pacers, as they are far from being a one-piece-away club. Their rebuild may not accelerate the way it is expected with the former No. 1 pick in the fold, but the team will retain a lot of flexibility and wiggle room for the future."

The Ringer: Deandre Ayton to the Pacers makes too much sense not to happen

Dan Devine writes: "If what he’s going to be is what he’s just been, and if a shuffled-up Suns roster winds up hoisting the Larry O’Brien Trophy, then Phoenix and its fans likely won’t spend too much time weeping for the memories of Ayton’s time in the desert. But if Jones’s best-laid plans come to naught, the replacement centers can’t replace Ayton’s production, and he blossoms in Indianapolis, the Suns might come to rue the decision to let Ayton walk—and, before that, to make him wait."

Could Deandre Ayton get traded to the Indiana Pacers? A lot of rumors and speculation surround the Phoenix Suns and that team.
Could Deandre Ayton get traded to the Indiana Pacers? A lot of rumors and speculation surround the Phoenix Suns and that team.

Hoops Hype: Keep an eye on Pacers, Spurs as potential landing spots for Deandre Ayton

Michael Scotto writes: "Rival NBA executives believe the Indiana Pacers and San Antonio Spurs could be holding onto their cap space to be a part of a blockbuster Durant trade where they’d be a salary dump destination in exchange for draft pick compensation. A potential sign-and-trade scenario between the Suns and Pacers has also been speculated. It’s worth noting Ayton and Pacers center Myles Turner are both represented by agent Bill Duffy of BDA Sports and WME Sports. Ayton’s co-agent, Nima Namakian, also represents Indiana’s recent sixth overall pick, Bennedict Mathurin."

Hoops Hype: Could Deandre Ayton sign his qualifying offer with Suns?

Michael Scotto writes: "One NBA general manager who spoke with HoopsHype at Vegas Summer League wondered if Ayton is better served accepting his $16.4 million qualifying offer to go into unrestricted free agency next summer. At that time, there will be more teams with cap space available. Teams with potential max cap space next summer include the Pistons, Rockets, Pacers, Grizzlies, Thunder, Magic, Spurs and Jazz. According to our HoopsHype salary cap expert Yossi Gozlan, if Ayton signs his $16.4 million qualifying offer, he isn’t eligible to be traded until January 15th, and Ayton would have veto rights to any trade. If Ayton is traded, his Bird Rights revert to Non-Bird Rights, and his new team would only be able to re-sign him to a 20 percent raise from his $16.4 million salary for a total of $85 million over four years. If a team trades for Ayton and has cap space, the team can give him more money."

Yahoo Sports: Indiana Pacers biggest threat to sign Deandre  Ayton

Ben Rohrbach writes: "The Suns are among the favorites to land Durant, and Ayton would be a centerpiece of any sign-and-trade offer to the Brooklyn Nets (all of them complicated). Ayton could remove himself from that conversation by signing an offer sheet with the Spurs or Pacers, all but eliminating Phoenix from the Durant sweepstakes. Multiple reports have indicated Indiana is the biggest threat to sign Ayton. The Suns will still have 48 hours to match any deal he receives, but once ink hits an offer sheet, he cannot be traded for at least six months."

Fansided: Report virtually shuts door on Deandre Ayton to Spurs possibility

Josh Paredes writes: "If you still might be hanging onto some hope that the San Antonio Spurs are planning to sign Deandre Ayton, it might be time to let go. We have been speculating since the Suns' season ended that the 23-year-old center could find himself in the Silver and Black due to their bountiful cap space. A Monday report may have finally put that to bed. 'A sign-and-trade deal for Deandre Ayton between the Suns and Pacers is very close,' said Brian Windhorst on ESPN Monday morning. Windhorst added that if they go the offer sheet route, they may even sign Ayton to one as early as Monday."

Phoenix Suns' Deandre Ayton (22) shoots against Indiana Pacers' Myles Turner (33) during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Saturday, Jan. 9, 2021, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)
Phoenix Suns' Deandre Ayton (22) shoots against Indiana Pacers' Myles Turner (33) during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Saturday, Jan. 9, 2021, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)

SB Nation: 5-team trade suggestion sends Deandre Ayton to Pacers

Ricky O'Donnell created a 5-team trade between the Suns, Nets, Jazz, Pacers and Lakers.

In the deal, he has Phoenix acquiring Durant, Brooklyn getting Mitchell, Myles Turner and Mikal Bridges, Indiana landing Deandre Ayton, Utah acquiring Russell Westbrook and draft picks and the Lakers landing Kyrie Irving.

O'Donnell wrote of the deal: "Again: this is super complicated, and very unlikely to go through. But if you look hard enough, you can see the motivation from every side. This is an incredible Durant return for the Nets. They get a young All-Star in Mitchell, a true 3-and-D wing in Bridges, and a starting center in Turner. Brooklyn couldn’t ask for anything more than this. The Suns swap Ayton, Bridges, and picks for Kevin Durant. KD is still one of the best players alive. Phoenix is firmly in the mix for a championship after this deal."

New York Daily News: 4-team trade would land Deandre Ayton in Indiana

Kristian Winfield proposed a four-team trade that could end up with the Suns receiving the Nets' Kevin Durant and the Indiana Pacers' Myles Turner. The Utah Jazz would also be involved.

Phoenix would have to give up Mikal Bridges, Cameron Johnson, 2023, 2025, 2027 and 2029 first-round picks in the deal (as well as first-round pick swaps in 2026 and 2028) and Deandre Ayton would end up in Indiana.

The trade also included Donovan Mitchell ending up in Brooklyn and Ben Simmons ending up in Utah, as well as a lot of other moving parts.

Winfield wrote of why the trade would work for the Suns: "Because they’ll have an almost bulletproof starting five: Chris Paul, Devin Booker, Kevin Durant, Jae Crowder and Myles Turner. Yes, Phoenix will  have gutted a good portion of both its depth and draft assets, but it’s a steal for them to end up with Turner for Ayton, a player they appear willing to let walk in free agency. Pulling off this deal gives Phoenix one of the most overloaded offenses in all of basketball, lands Durant at the destination atop his most preferred list and makes the Suns championship contenders so long as Paul stays healthy running the point. This, in all likelihood, is a deal the Suns agree to first."

ESPN: 4-team trade proposal that sends Deandre Ayton to Pacers

Bobby Marks shared a 4-team trade suggestion on NBA Today that would send sent Kevin Durant to the Suns, Deandre Ayton to the Pacers, Donovan Mitchell, Mikal Bridges and Myles Turner to the Nets and Ben Simmons, Cam Thomas and a lot of picks to the Jazz.

The Big Lead's Liam McKeone couldn't see the Suns agreeing to the deal.

"As far as massive trades involving multiple superstars and hundreds of millions of dollars go ... It isn't bad!," he wrote. "The Nets move on from the KD/Kyrie era with Mitchell flanked by two quality defenders. The Suns get KD. The Pacers get Ayton for a first-round pick. And the Jazz end up with Simmons as a reclamation project, a haul of picks to utilize along with Cam Thomas. The team likeliest to balk here is Phoenix. The Suns give up seven picks, Ayton, and Mikal Bridges to get Durant in this scenario. From what we've heard, they've already balked at giving up that much for KD, and even if they were willing, the trade probably would've happened already."

More Deandre Ayton trade/free agency stories:

Reach Jeremy Cluff at jeremy.cluff@arizonarepublic.com. Follow him on Twitter @Jeremy_Cluff.

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This article originally appeared on Arizona Republic: Deandre Ayton free agency updates: Suns match Pacers' offer sheet