Eighton is with the sun

Phoenix (AP) — Deandre Ayton finally got his new deal from the Phoenix Suns.

Those who know the situation said Sands quickly decided to match Eighton’s $ 133 million four-year offer sheet with the Indiana Pacers on Thursday. The person spoke to the Associated Press on anonymous terms, as Sands had not publicly announced the decision.

Athletic first reported that Phoenix matched the offer. ESPN first reported that Eighton had agreed to the Pacers.

This move means that Sands will (at least for now) maintain Eighton’s core and Devin Booker and Chris Paul’s All-Star backcoat. The trio pushed Phoenix to the 2021 NBA Finals, setting a franchise record of 64 wins in the most recent regular season.

Eighton, who was ranked number one in the 2018 NBA Draft, was eligible for an extension from Phoenix last summer.

That didn’t happen, and he became a restricted free agent this summer — meaning Phoenix had the opportunity to match any offer. As Indiana began to move, Sands immediately counterattacked.

Phoenix is ​​interested in acquiring Brooklyn star Kevin Durant during the off-season, but due to the New Deal, Eighton cannot be used as a trade bait.

The Sands move hit the Pacers, who wanted to add Eighton as a central part of a promising young core, including 22-year-old point guard Tyrese Haliburton, which was acquired in a February deal with Sacramento. Give.

Eighton, who turns 24 later this month, had a volatile start in his career, but was a key factor in the Sands final. He is part of the 2018 Draft Class, which includes Luka Doncic in Dallas and Trae Young in Atlanta. The two guards have had more personal success, but neither has been successful in the playoffs.

Athletic 6ft 11 Eighton has developed a powerful, low-post, mid-range game. He averaged 17.2 points and 10.2 rebounds per game last season, shooting 63.4 percent from the field and 36.8 percent in three points.

Much of the criticism of Eighton was about his maturity. He was unpaid and suspended 25 games by the NBA in 2019 for violating the league’s anti-drug program with a positive diuretic test. He was also put on the bench for part of Round 7 of the team’s second round defeat to Dallas this year after appearing to have spoken to coach Monty Williams.

Still, he is generally popular with his teammates. Booker and Paul often praised Eighton for doing many small things to help the team win.

Without Eighton, Kevin Pritchard, president of the basketball business Pacers, may not be able to operate and trade. Indiana has three potential first round picks in next year’s draft and has enough players and assets to help other teams looking for a salary cap dump.

The Pacers announced Thursday that they have abandoned four players: Duane Washington Jr., Nik Stauskas, Malik Fitts and Juwan Morgan. They were part of Indiana’s trade and sent security guard Malcolm Brogdon to Boston, leaving enough cap space to make tracking Eighton and other players realistic. Eighton is with the sun

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