Robert Sarver must spend to save the Phoenix Suns

Phoenix Suns Robert Sarver (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Phoenix Suns Robert Sarver (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /

After being rumored to be in on top free agents competing news about future spending plans broke that, if true, could be destructive for the Phoenix Suns.

In a summer where Robert Sarver made headlines by selling the Phoenix Suns G-League affiliate and for letting 30 employees go in the middle of a pandemic, it appears he might keep that momentum going into the fall.

ESPN insider Brian Windhorst went on Bickley & Marotta earlier this week to talk about the Suns and the NBA.

“The word on the street about the Suns is they intend to reduce their spending,” he said in response to what he thought about the Suns potentially pursuing Fred VanVleet.

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Phoenix Suns owner, Robert Sarver, needs to spend to win.

For an owner with his history of money-saving moves, the actions he took this summer, all while getting a whole arena renovation what Windhorst suggests is both believable and a worst-case scenario.

Not only should the Phoenix Suns not try and be an under-the-cap team, but they should be exploiting every salary cap loophole they can to get the most quality players on their team next season. If that involves clearing enough cap space to sign VanVleet and squeak under the cap then so be it if James Jones believes that will give the Suns the best team.

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If you are unsure how the cap works and what the Suns options this summer I would recommend checking out this newsletter that highlights the main approaches the Suns can take. The salary cap is not as final as the name makes it sound, and there are options where the Suns can go fairly over it in the name of keeping their core together, while still making noteworthy upgrades.

If Sarver is manipulating Jones this off-season and constricting his budget to spend as little as possible it would be yet another sign that Sarver is unwilling to spend enough to make the Suns legitimate contenders. It could also unofficially mark the beginning of the end for Devin Booker in Phoenix.

After an 8-0 bubble run, the Phoenix Suns have all of the momentum in the world. Next season, there has to be another visible step towards competing for a championship, both in terms of organizational culture and with on-court results. And both of those start with how much Robert Sarver decides he wants to spend to win.

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