Day 1: Suns Killing Free Agency – By Doing Nothing

Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports /

It’s been less than 24 hours since the start of NBA free agency, and the Suns are killing it.

They have signed the perfect number of players to compliment their roster: zero.

The Suns have avoided the early rat race to sign the elite free agent talent… of which there is little.

Non-star players have already set an extremely high bar when it comes to average salary.

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According to ESPN’s Zach Lowe, Kent Bazemore has allegedly been demanding a contract in the range of 19-20 million dollars. That’s right, Kent Bazemore is going to get paid nearly double what Steph Curry makes.

ESPN also is reporting Joakim Noah has reportedly agreed to terms with the New York Knicks for $72 million/4 years. Jeremy Lin (a backup point guard) will reportedly make 12 million per season and is headed to Brooklyn. $12 million per season is nearly what Brandon Knight or Tyson Chandler make, and Knight is a younger, and in my opinion clearly better than Lin.

The contracts are crazy. With the salary cap rising to $94 million, that’s just the way it is, and if anything, it’s just the beginning.

Teams are required to spend their money (at least 90 percent of cap) and NBA players and their agents don’t plan to leave any money on the table. The biggest surprise so far was probably the Lakers reportedly agreeing to sign Timofey Mozgov to a 4-year contract worth approximately $16 million per season! Mozgov player a total of 76 playoff minutes this past year… Go Lakers.

Ths Suns have been linked to only one player so far, Jared Dudley (Marc Stein of ESPN reports).

In my off-season preview I theorized the Suns bringing The Junkyard Dog back to the valley, and I stand by that argument. Nae sayers will tell you there is no reason to sign a player who is over thirty on a team with a developmental timeline still a few years away.

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That’s valid. Dudley is an asset though, make no mistake about that. He’s a small-forward who shoots the 3-pointer at an elite level and can defend small-ball power-forwards.

I personally yelled to Dudley that he should re-sign in Phoenix while sitting behind him at the Suns vs. Wizards game this season. But other than fit, why would the Suns tie up money in a player who is much older than their core unit?

Because Jared Dudley is exactly the high character, high IQ guy to help this young core (especially Booker and Warren) develop. I heard JD talk to Zach Lowe about his importance as a leader to the young players in Washington, and Duds sounded like an engaged teacher.

Part of developing young talent is developing their character, and a locker room plays an important role in that process.  I would love for the Suns to sign Dudley.

The other major move Phoenix is making doesn’t seem like a big deal on the surface but could be as impactful as any other decision Suns GM Ryan McDonough will have to make. That move, is to do nothing.

It is really hard for teams to stick to their plan and timeline when big time free-agents hit the market. The Suns know it’s superstar or bust at this point, and bust isn’t that bad of an option because losing increases the value of the Suns’ draft picks.

If the Suns sign a player to a long contract, who doesn’t dramatically improve their roster, it could just as easily devalue the draft assets without pushing the Suns into contention.

That said, the best part of last night was not seeing the Suns rumored to offer Chandler Parsons the max, or rumored to be meeting with Demar Derozan (likely signed for 5-years at max money!!!).

Free Agnecy: Suns Roster Looking Strong

By all accounts, next years’ draft and free agent class are both substantially better. The Suns front office should just kick back and watch the madness.