It didn't take long for Deandre Ayton to sign his max offer sheet from the Indiana Pacers. It took even less time for the Phoenix Suns to match it.
Phoenix has officially matched Indiana's four-year, $133 million offer to the restricted free agent big man. As a result, Ayton will remain in Phoenix.
ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski said Phoenix matched the offer "as soon as" it received the sheet from the Pacers. If Indiana or any other team wants Ayton, they will have to wait a while to get him.
"Deandre Ayton returns to Phoenix and can't be traded without his consent for a full year," Wojnarowski wrote.
The No. 1 overall pick in the 2018 NBA Draft, Ayton has averaged a double-double in all four seasons in Phoenix. He produced 17.2 points and 10.2 rebounds per outing in 2021-22.
After reaching the NBA Finals in 2021, the Suns posted the best regular season record this year, going 64-18. However, they were eliminated by the Dallas Mavericks in the Western Conference Semifinals.
Still, with Phoenix ostensibly trying to contend moving forward, it makes sense for them to go all out to retain a key piece like Ayton, even if they have to pay the luxury tax to do so.