The Thank You for Being Here and Working So Hard but You Mean More to Us Elsewhere Than You Do Here Award – Dario Saric, Aron Baynes, and Tyler Johnson
Usually when teams suffer through long losing stretches, or a bad season overall, those players who are in the last year of their deals tend to make a lot of noise wanting to be traded elsewhere to see if they can at least get a shot at having a playoff run before the current one wraps up.
Those players might not play as hard; they might play very selfishly looking to boost their personal stats hoping for a contract extension from anywhere in the league, and they overall do not play a positive roll on the current team, tearing it down from the inside (whether intentionally or not) as they look elsewhere beyond the end of their current deal.
And yet, Dario Saric has quietly accepted his uneven role this season, and while he hasn’t been playing all that well, he also hasn’t been terrible.
Aron Baynes will easily win the Dan Majerle Hustle Award (if he is here to accept it at the end of the season) and quickly anchored himself as a fan favorite.
More from Valley of the Suns
- Ranking the Phoenix Suns’ 5 holiday games in 2023-24
- Zion Williamson gets compared to Phoenix Suns legend
- Suns player preview: Bol Bol can be the perfect role player
- Former Suns’ guard shows he is officially done with Phoenix
- NBA insider guarantees Suns’ rival won’t make blockbuster trade
And Tyler Johnson has been paid far more money than he has deserved (at absolutely no fault of his own, and I do not wish to knock him for it even the slightest), and now that he is once again on a losing team could demand a buy-out to allow himself to latch onto a championship-contending team who needs a veteran third point guard or shooting guard to anchor the bench.
Those three players have been nothing but consummate professionals (something that you would expect from a Monty Williams-led team), popularly ingraining themselves in the hearts of the fan base for their hard work and dedication to the name on the front of the roster and not the names on the back.
And yet they mean more to the Phoenix Suns gone, than they do here.
Remember: each one of them are on expiring contracts, totaling $28,180,636 over the course of this season.
That is a gigantic sum that can cumulatively either be used in a trade at the deadline, or allowed to wash off the books this summer, giving Phoenix near-max salary availability for either a splashy free agent signing or the absorption of a major contract through trade at that time.
For as much as we love Aron Baynes, he is a 33-year-old backup center and not a piece of the future. None of them are.
While I might be able to make an argument that Saric could be a solid backup power forward, he will be equally as replaceable as the other two, and none of the three will very likely not be re-signed come June.
Their collective salaries mean so much more to the franchise than the players do on the court, and while we can thank them for playing so hard for the name on the front of the uniform in 2019-20, it is another name on the back that is highly sought after, and whoever that player is, he cannot share the roster with any one of the current three.