The start to the NBA offseason has been very intriguing, as different stars broke the NBA world as they requested trades, but another thing that broke the NBA world was the biggest offer sheet in the history of the NBA. On July 14th, the Indiana Pacers offered the restricted free agent Deandre Ayton a four-year, $133 million maximum offer sheet. This exceeds the deal offered to Otto Porter $106.5 million contract with the Washington Wizards in 2017. Once the Pacers made the offer sheet to Ayton, the Phoenix Suns had 48 hours to match the offer sheet. If the Suns’ didn’t match the offer sheet in 48 hours, then the Pacers officially acquired Ayton.
Initially, there was a lot of speculation that the Phoenix Suns would not agree to this offer because they didn’t feel like Ayton was equivalent to the amount of money he wanted. In the end, the Phoenix Suns caved to the Pacers’ offer sheet and ended up deciding to match the sheet before the day ended. Unfortunately, the Suns had to pay Ayton more than they originally wanted to. This decision from the Suns front office goes to show the importance that Ayton plays on the team. This decision from the Pacers front office to make this initial offer sheet shows that the Pacers are all in on rebuilding their young roster with skilled talent. Here’s a review of the Pacers’ decision to make the biggest offer sheet in the history of the NBA.
Indiana Pacers Offer Deandre Ayton Max Deal
Ever since the offseason started for the Pacers and Suns, Indiana showed tremendous interest in obtaining Ayton in free agency. Indiana wanted Ayton so bad that they resorted to making the biggest offer sheet in the history of the NBA. This offer sheet was a four-year, $133 million maximum offer sheet. This was the Indiana Pacers’ first maximum offer since the one they made in 2013 when offering Paul George. Another thing to mention is if the deal had successfully happened, this would’ve been the Pacers’ first time acquiring a player who was the number 1 overall draft pick in their respected draft.
As you can see, the Pacers had the chance to do something their franchise has never achieved. Overall, the importance of this deal on the Pacers’ end comes from wanting to rebuild Indiana with young talent. Obtaining Deandre Ayton would’ve gotten the dominoes to start falling for the Pacers. Unfortunately, the Suns forced them to have to start somewhere else. Now, it isn’t the end of the world, as the Pacers are deep at the center position, but they do have to go back to the drawing board.
What’s Next For The Pacers?
Indiana has a lot of cap space to offer a max contract to another player available in free agency. Unfortunately, the list isn’t long of players that would fit the rebuild direction the Pacers are going. The Suns matching the offer sheet of the Pacers leaves Indiana with $133 million in free cap space. This is $133 million of money that can’t be carried into the upcoming season. Teams are forced to spend cap space money annually because the NBA rule states every team has to use all their salary cap space every season.
Now, who the Pacers will pursue after the failed attempt to obtain Ayton remains a mystery. Undoubtedly, Indiana emphasized wanting to sign Ayton since the regular season has ended and only him. This instance resulted in the Pacers not having a plan B route, just in case the deal with Ayton didn’t fall through. Overall, who the Pacers should try and go for is a whole different article that will be intriguing to type. From here on though, it will be interesting to see the Pacers’ next move.
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