The Phoenix Suns have decided that there weren’t any major free agents this offseason that they wanted to chase, sticking to the safe route of acquiring only Trevor Ariza. So how will the summer of 2019 look?
When the Phoenix Suns announced that they had agreed to terms with unrestricted free agent Trevor Ariza on a one-year deal for $15 million, many Suns fans were left wondering why they didn’t attempt to make a bigger splash and try to acquire a current or rising star on a long-term deal.
One reason was because the addition of a long-term veteran deal would hinder future flexibility, particularly the ability to create a large chunk of cash available to spend next offseason, potentially on a crop of free agent talent that is considered to be a better batch than this summer. With Ariza’s $15 million, Tyson Chandler‘s $13,585,000, and Jared Dudley‘s $9,530,000 all coming off of the books, the Suns will head into the 2019-20 free from paying $38,115,000 to three aging role players.
But do not think that Phoenix will suddenly then have the cap space to sign two max contracts to go along with their rising young core. On the contrary. While General Manager Ryan McDonough can create additional cap space if he were to trade away Brandon Knight‘s final year of his deal paying him $15,643,750 without acquiring any corresponding contracts, and maybe even T.J. Warren‘s $10,810,000 for next season (with two subsequent years left on his deal), then yeah, maybe Phoenix could make a run at two max deals, potentially placing them in the upper echelon of the Western Conference.
That said, if those two are still on the roster, the Suns won’t have that much cap space to work with, although they won’t be broke.