Suns center Deandre Ayton is facing a 25-game suspension for violating NBA’s Anti-Drug policy with a positive test for a diuretic.
Deandre Ayton showed no traces of any other banned substances, sources with knowledge of results told ESPN. NBPA is likely to fast-track arbitration process to push for a reduction as soon as possible.
The former Arizona Wildcat will lose $2.17 million over the 25-game suspension.
“I want to apologize to my family, the entire Suns organization, my teammates, partners, our fans and the Phoenix community. This was an unintentional mistake and unfortunately I put something in my body that I was completely unaware of. I do understand the unfortunate impact that this has on so many others, and for that I am deeply sorry. I’m extremely disappointed that I’ve let my team down. I will continue to work with the NBPA to go through arbitration and am hopeful of a positive resolution.” Ayton claimed.
The timing is terrible for the Suns, who beat Sacramento on opening night Wednesday behind 18 points, 11 rebounds and 4 blocks by Ayton. Phoenix has proven to be a better team than last year, adding solid players such as Ricky Rubio, Dario Saric and rookie Cameron Johnson.
"On behalf of the Phoenix Suns organization, (coach) Monty Williams and I are disappointed in the actions by Deandre Ayton that led to his testing positive for a banned diuretic and subsequent suspension by the NBA. This does not uphold the standards and principles we have set for the team.'' Suns general manager James Jones said.