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) /
3 of 4
Phoenix Suns
Phoenix Suns. Mandatory Credit: Alonzo Adams-USA TODAY Sports /

Phoenix Suns’ second-best value contract: Mikal Bridges

Bridges may be coming off a rookie contract that paid him less than $4.5 million annually, but that doesn’t mean his new deal should keep him off this list. After committing to the 25-year-old with a four-year, $90 million contract, the front office must have enjoyed what they saw in an extremely promising fourth season.

Bridges has continually developed both sides of his game, emerging as one of the best two-way wings in the league. He averaged career-highs in minutes (34.8), points (14.2) and assists (2.3) last season.

It’s the defensive end where he makes his name, regularly locking up the best players in the league through his combination of size, length, athleticism and high IQ. He finished top three in Defensive Player of the Year voting alongside multiple-time winner Rudy Gobert and eventual winner Marcus Smart.

Phoenix Suns
Phoenix Suns (Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images) /

What makes this deal valuable is the growth and development that Bridges still possesses within his game. At present, he’s an efficient offensive scorer but one that usually relies on the playmaking of his guards in Paul and Booker.

But even though that’s the case at the moment, Bridges still garners far greater ambition when it comes to his offensive versatility. He had a usage rate of 14.9% last season, ranked ninth for Suns players to have played more than 500 minutes.

Expect that to increase over the course of his contract as Bridges further develops his ball-handling and playmaking abilities. That growth takes on greater importance given Paul’s aging and the wish to reduce his responsibilities next season and beyond.