The Phoenix Suns’ 3 ‘best value’ contracts ahead of 2022-23

Phoenix Suns, Cameron Johnson (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Phoenix Suns, Cameron Johnson (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /
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The Phoenix Suns are in the championship window and as such, they’ve now entered the NBA’s luxury tax for the first time since 2009-10.

The league’s 2022-23 salary cap sits just under $125 million, while the luxury tax threshold is at just over $150 million. With the Suns re-signing starting center Deandre Ayton to a four-year $133 million deal, the franchise now has a little over $167 million in combined player salaries.

Shrewd roster management has delivered the Phoenix Suns into championship contention. But which contracts are providing the ‘best value’ to the franchise?

Of the 14 players currently contracted to the Suns roster (not including two-way contracts for Ish Wainright and Duane Washington), eight are expiring deals heading into next season. Meanwhile, point-guards Chris Paul and Cameron Payne have only partially guaranteed contracts for 2023-24.

Phoenix Suns, Chris Paul, Cameron Payne.
Phoenix Suns, Chris Paul, Cameron Payne. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports /

You would think that leaves the Suns with a flexible roster moving forward, but that’s not particularly the case. Three players, Ayton, Mikal Bridges and Devin Booker, will combine to make up the majority of the Suns’ cap space over the next four plus years.

With Ayton and Bridges getting huge paydays having completed their rookie deals, do they still classify as value contracts? Does Booker’s recent supermax contract extension land him in this list? What about Paul as he enters his 18th NBA season at 37 years of age?

Before we start, bare in mind the list is based on the player’s full-term of their contract, not just their annual salary for the 2022-23 season (though most have expiring deals anyway).