What will Phoenix’s cap space look like?
On the surface that sounds great! Phoenix will be approximately $22,412,015 beneath the cap, so sign one big name, fill in the rest of the roster with low end veteran talent on short-term deals, and maybe the Suns will having something good going on there!
This is entirely possible, however, at the moment there is a catch: unless traded, they will have at least their own first and second round draft picks, with the potential (as admittedly unlikely as it is) for a second first round pick should Milwaukee’s fall within the 4-16 range.
Those players will need to be paid as well, and depending on where Phoenix falls in the lottery (unfortunately presuming that they will be back in the lottery), that first round pick will be paid between $3 and $9 million as well, lessening their cap space to between $19 million and $13 million.
I would be remiss to not note that while he has just been released, Alan Williams might still return on a lesser deal for this coming season. I would bet strongly though that he will not receive a multi-year deal, but instead will sign for no longer than one-year so the franchise can continue to have the most money possible for the summer of 2019.
These numbers are all hinged upon what else happens this offseason in trades. If they stand pat, then Phoenix could still be in a very nice spot for the offseason of 2019, if not necessarily to be big players in free agency, but at least in the ability to acquire a large contract through trade, if nothing else.
If before (or during) the 2019 offseason the Suns can trade away either Brandon Knight or T.J. Warren without acquiring too much more in the way of future assets, they really could potentially open up enough space to land a max free agent, or at least several mid-level players who might equal near a max while providing the depth they need to continue their Western Conference climb.
So while Suns fans were disappointed that Phoenix didn’t make a deep dive in free agency this offseason, there are ways for the franchise to really get themselves set up nicely for next offseason, opening up a wealth of talent-filled opportunities.