Former No. 1 overall pick Deandre Ayton was notably absent on Phoenix’s bench during the fourth quarter against Cleveland on Sunday (PHT). The Suns later announced the 23-year-old big man had exited and would not return due to a right leg contusion.
Injury update: Deandre Ayton (right leg contusion) will not return tonight.— Phoenix Suns (@Suns) October 31, 2021
Ayton finished with 17 points, 12 rebounds and three steals in just 24 minutes of action, much of it coming during a 50-12 Suns run that spanned halftime. Phoenix went on to win 101-92.
The former Arizona standout was coming off a 21-point, 21-rebound effort against Sacramento on Wednesday. Ayton, who played a key role in Phoenix reaching the 2021 Finals, is set to become a restricted free agent next offseason after he and the Suns were unable to come to terms on a rookie contract extension.