Suns’ season starts off uneasy, just like Deandre Ayton’s contract situation

Lit City™ can wait. One game into a new season and the Suns have more losses than the Cardinals.

It’s irrefutable proof that nothing stays the same in the NBA.

The Suns fell to the Nuggets 110-98 on Wednesday, a game when nothing seemed easy and nothing seemed special about the returning NBA bridesmaids. That was surprising and disappointing.

Entering a new season, the Suns ranked No. 1 among NBA teams in continuity. Their returning players accounted for 87% of minutes played in the previous season. They seemed primed for an electrifying start.

Except there are serious adjustments to that calculus. There is Landry Shamet, a sharpshooter so beloved by head coach Monty Williams that he earned a $43 million contract extension before ever playing a game in Phoenix. There was the addition of JaVale McGee, who fills a void while feeding the elephant in the room.

Welcome to a new year in Phoenix, when Deandre Ayton’s contract status is an ongoing part of every narrative, one that’s not going to change anytime soon. And that’s a shame.

I believe the Suns should’ve given Ayton the maximum contract extension. So do many NBA executives across the league. Others are astounded that owner Robert Sarver would have the conviction to spit in the face of his own reputation just when things were going so well. But none of us understand Ayton and his work ethic like the Suns, a team that…

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