Phoenix Suns: Constructing the Dream Offseason for this Summer

Phoenix Suns (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
Phoenix Suns (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images) /
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Phoenix Suns
Phoenix Suns(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /

Phoenix Suns Dream Offseason: Let these free agents depart

Headlined by Chris Paul, the Suns possess and incredibly top-heavy free agent in class in terms of overall skill, set to test the market a few weeks from now. Due to this talent disparity, little cause exists for the Suns to focus on bringing back their role players with expiring contracts.

A collective eight players will soon depart Phoenix and begin their free-agent tours, of course assuming that Paul opts-out from his contract. If Phoenix picks up their options for Deandre Ayton and Mikal Bridges, then the Suns will carry roughly 8.3 million dollars of cap space into the 2021-22 season.

But again due to Phoenix’s generally top-heavy free agent class, it makes little sense for their front office to spend that money on bringing back these—for the most part—less useful contributors.

Abdel Nader:

Nader made his way to Phoenix coming as a side-piece to the Paul deal with the Oklahoma City Thunder. Unlike his travel partner though, he made a relatively small impression on the Suns last year.

Nader averaged just 6.7 points and 2.6 rebounds per game for the Suns, but actually shot a solid 41.9 percent from three. However, he struggled to stay on the floor, missing roughly three months due to a knee injury.

With a long history involving injury woes, Nader looks like an investment not worth making for a team like the Suns aiming to win their first ever NBA title. Phoenix’s lacking depth by the time they reached the Finals last year eventually came as their undoing. Nader might one day carve out a role as a floor spacing shooter, but too many variables exist to allow him to try and do so again with the Suns.

E’Twaun Moore

Moore played just 27 games for the Suns this year, a career low for him. He too scored just 4.9 points and dished out 1.9 assister per game. With the Suns likely looking to take care of two other point guards before him this free agency, Moore deserves zero consideration regarding a new contract.

Cameron Payne

Cam Payne seems likely to go down Phoenix’s most unfortunate casualty this offseason. He became a hero after leading the Suns through their first two Western Conference Finals games against the Los Angeles Clippers, scoring 29 points and dishing out nine assists.

But Suns fans know his excellence from last year extended far beyond that game. Payne averaged 8.4 points per contest, while shooting a team-high 44.0 percent on 3-pointers last season. As someone who formerly struggled to find his footing as an NBA player, even going overseas less than two years ago, it makes sense for Payne to bargin his success from last year into a long-term, and unaffordable contract for the Suns.

Phoenix does possess Payne’s early-bird rights, making it possible for them to offer him roughy 10 million dollars per year under a new contract while not counting against the cap, but Payne is still likely to try and pursue more than that.

Frank Kaminsky:

Kaminsky failed miserably while trying to step up for the injured Saric during the NBA Finals. This makes him perhaps the easiest player to part ways with. The Suns simply cannot rely on him down low as a defender, so they need to toss him aside and look elsewhere for someone they can.

Langston Galloway:

During the 2021 regular season, Galloway averaged a career-low 4.8 points per game, and a team-low minutes per game at 11.0. He clearly represents this team’s weakest link, therefore making his dispose all too necessary.