Ayton: I haven't spoken to Monty Williams since Game 7 loss
Phoenix Suns center Deandre Ayton isn't sugarcoating his relationship with head coach Monty Williams.
"I haven't spoken to him," Ayton said Tuesday. "I haven't spoken to him at all. Ever since the (Game 7 loss)."
Ayton and Williams reportedly feuded during the 2021-22 campaign, culminating in a disagreement during the Suns' blowout Game 7 loss to the Dallas Mavericks. The center played just 17 minutes in that contest, and Williams told reporters that Ayton's lack of playing time was an "internal" matter following the game.
Williams says his lack of communication with Ayton over the summer wasn't anything out of the ordinary.
"I haven't talked to a bunch of our guys, Williams said Tuesday. "As I said earlier this summer, they needed a break."
The former No. 1 overall draft pick didn't receive an offer as a restricted free agent until the Indiana Pacers signed him to a four-year, $133-million offer sheet on July 12. The Suns promptly matched the contract, forcing Ayton to return to Phoenix regardless of his intentions.
When asked whether he's happy to be in Phoenix, Ayton said, "Yeah, I'm alright."
The 24-year-old averaged 17.2 points and 10.2 rebounds in 58 contests for the Suns last season.
Ayton's contract has a no-trade clause for a year, giving him veto power over any potential deal. The Suns also can't trade Ayton to the Pacers for a year from the time of his signing.
- James Conner scores twice against his old team, Kenny Pickett hurt as Cardinals beat Steelers
- Makar unavailable vs. Kings with lower-body injury
- Rams' Nacua returns vs. Browns despite injuring ribs
- Report: Padres, Giants, Yankees among teams vying for Korean star Lee
- Rossi scores twice vs. Blackhawks, Wild stay perfect under Hynes