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Is Ayton the next Bledsoe or the next Joe Johnson? Deep dive on all angles

The Phoenix Suns have officially tendered the one-year Qualifying Offer of $16.25 million to young starting center Deandre Ayton. The qualifying offer gives Ayton a solid contract offer for the 2022-23 season, while making him a restricted free agent and giving the Suns the right to match any offer accepted by Ayton in the coming weeks.

The QO was a ‘box checking’ move by the Suns to keep all their options on the table for free agency and roster moves.

The Suns can now go in multiple directions with DA, all of which result in the Suns either keeping their starting center or getting acceptable assets back for him in trade.