Phoenix Suns free agency: Best wing targets for 2020 offseason

Phoenix Suns (Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports)
Phoenix Suns (Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports) /
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The Phoenix Suns may have needs to fill at the wing this offseason

Doing the math, the Phoenix Suns will probably have between four to six roster spots to fill within the team as it is currently constructed. I feel that the Suns will need to obtain quality backups to Devin Booker, Mikal Bridges, Cameron Johnson, and Deandre Ayton.

As I have mentioned in the past I strongly believe that Suns General Manager James Jones will trade Kelly Oubre Jr. this off-season. I think Jones understands that Oubre has somehow figured out how to spell the word team with an “i”.

It’s kind of understandable because, for every assist he makes, he turns the ball over just as much. Oubre was not a good passer or decision-maker when he came into the league, and much hasn’t changed since. I think he has just about hit his ceiling.

If you check most team grading tools such as RAPTOR or ESPN’s Real Plus-Minus that focuses on how players work with teammates on the floor, you will see that for small forwards Oubre grades out very poorly coming in at  No. 84 on the RPM, whereas Bridges ranks No. 14 for small forwards. Oubre Jr. is a very fun role player, but he’ll never be an All-Star. As Mikal and Cam showed us during the bubble, he wasn’t really missed.

Oubre is now in the last year of his contract and he will ask for $20 million-plus per year on his next contract. Do you really want to pay him when Bridges is able and ready to assume Oubre’s role? You just need to ask yourself, do you want a team built for the playoffs and championships or one built for fun and done?

In addition to Oubre, I predict that Jones will also trade, waive and or renounce the bottom half of their roster to gain more cap space and improve the quality of depth. The one player that the Phoenix Suns won’t renounce will be Dario Saric, a restricted free agent who has earned the right to be in Phoenix due to his play in the bubble. He will either sign at a price that fits the Suns’ cap or they’ll let him move on.

After the above moves, the Phoenix Suns would have 8-guaranteed contracts going into this offseason which gives the team a strong core of players that includes Devin Booker, Ricky Rubio, Deandre Ayton, Mikal Bridges, Cam Johnson, Cameron Payne, Ty Jerome, and their 10th pick in the NBA draft.

Adding those 8-player contracts together will leave Suns with about $35 million available to them to go strong after free agents under the current salary cap of $109.1 million.

Only 7-teams go into this NBA off-season under the cap and the Suns have the fourth-most money to spend on available free agents, making them a top competitor in the free-agent market.

Now you can make your own adjustments to those numbers if you think the Suns will keep Kelly Oubre Jr. ($14.3 million) or should the cap go up between $113 million to $115 million. Either way, the Suns will have the money to sign those 6-spots on the team, and maybe even allow them a higher quality player if they can sign the right bench free agents at the right prices.