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Deandre Ayton, Monty Williams’ “internal” drama in Sun’s debacle

Are the Suns dealing with internal issues amid Sunday’s blowout loss in Game 7 to the Mavericks?

Phoenix coach Monty Williams benched big man Deandre Ayton in the second half of the Western Conference Semifinals Series Finals and played coy about the post-game situation. Reporters tell “it’s internal” when asked if Ayton only played 17 minutes.

Williams came on for Ayton minutes into the third quarter at center Bismack Biyombo. Ayton, limited to five points and four rebounds in his last game of the season, did not speak to reporters after the loss.

It’s unclear what happened between Williams and Ayton. According to several reports The two had a verbal spat on the sidelines and had to be separated from Sun’s trainers. The situation was not captured by broadcast cameras.

DeAndre Ayton on the Suns bench during the season loss to Mavericks on May 15, 2022.
Deandre Ayton on the Suns bench during the season-ending loss to Mavericks on May 15, 2022.
USA TODAY sports
Monty Williams on the Suns touchline
Monty Williams on the Suns touchline.
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Williams reportedly asked Ayton if he wanted to play and then immediately yanked him out of the game apparent witness tweeted after the game.

Ayton — the Suns’ No. 1 pick in the 2018 NBA draft — is a restricted free agent with a $31.5 million cap hold. He wasn’t happy with his contract last October when he was pushing for a five-year deal worth a maximum of $172.5 million, but Phoenix wasn’t ready to take up that offer.

Phoenix star guard Devin Booker had an interesting comment on Ayton’s contract situation after the game.

DeAndre Ayton defended by Luka Doncic
Deandre Ayton defended by Luka Doncic
USA TODAY sports

“His contract situation is between him and the front office,” Booker said. “I care for him like a brother. Just making sure his mentality is right…whatever happens, happens. It’s hard to see that far into the future.”

https://nypost.com/2022/05/16/deandre-ayton-monty-williams-internal-drama-in-suns-debacle/ Deandre Ayton, Monty Williams’ “internal” drama in Sun’s debacle

JOE HERNANDEZ

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