Deandre Ayton and Monty Williams, it seems, are still on very rocky footing.
Ayton said on Tuesday that he still hasn’t spoken with the Phoenix Suns coach since they were involved in a verbal altercation during their final game last season.
The Suns center was very quick to answer when asked about Williams, too.
“I haven’t spoken to Monty,” Ayton said definitively. “I haven’t spoken to him at all. Ever since the game.”
Obviously, now that training camp is underway, that’s going to change sooner rather than later. Ayton, though, didn’t seem interested in having that conversation.
“I can show him better than I could tell him,” Ayton said.
Ayton and Williams were reportedly feuding during the Suns’ second-round playoff series with the Dallas Mavericks last season. Ayton played just 17 minutes in their blowout loss to the Mavericks in Game 7 of that series, and Williams was rather coy about why after the game. He only said that it was an “internal” matter.
Ayton and the Suns have reportedly had issues for quite some time, too. Ayton, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski in May, “did not feel valued” by the organization — which declined to offer him a rookie extension before the deadline. Ayton almost left for the Indiana Pacers in July as a restricted free agent, but the Suns matched a four-year, $133 million offer to keep him in Phoenix.
Ayton averaged 17.2 points and 10.2 rebounds per game last season, his fourth in the league after the Suns took him with the No. 1 overall pick in 2018.
While Ayton showed up to training camp, it sounds like he and his head coach are still not on the same page. And when he was asked if he was happy to be there at all, he wasn’t very convincing.
“Yeah, I’m alright,” he said.
“When I’m in between those lines man, I just work. I’m not playing for myself. I have an organization across my chest and a name on my back I have to represent. I’m just here to work.”