Encouraging sign for Phoenix Suns fans in wake of Sarver findings

Phoenix Suns, Cameron Johnson. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports
Phoenix Suns, Cameron Johnson. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports /

There’s few, if any positives to take from the findings of the Robert Sarver investigation. The Phoenix Suns majority owner was suspended for one year and fined $10 million last week after he was found to have behaved inappropriately in acts of misogyny, racism and sexual harassment.

Hopefully it springboards change at the franchise, one that delivers a healthy and safe workplace environment. But while the importance of that can’t be undervalued, it’s little solace to fans who want to see sustained success on the floor.

Fortunately, those fans now have a little more assurance, and subsequently a little more optimism about the team’s chances of contending well into the future.

In an encouraging sign for Phoenix Suns fans, it appears the franchise’s spending capacity hasn’t been inhibited by the suspension and fine handed to Robert Sarver.

The financial implications beyond those given by the NBA were always going to provide some concern for Suns fans. Sarver has seldom been willing to pay big on the team’s roster, with 2022-23 being the first year in a decade that the Suns enter the league’s luxury tax.

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

Should Sarver begin some cost-cutting measures to make up for the fine and the potential of lost revenue through sponsorships, then the spending capacity on the roster could well be compromised. Thankfully, that doesn’t seem to be the case according to ESPN’s Brian Windhorst.

"“They’ve been very active in this last week. They are conducting business, they’re in trade negotiations…It’s possible that they could do a deal that brings back more money. In folks that I’m talking to, they don’t get the sense that the Suns are afraid to continue to spend.”"

This is an encouraging sign for Suns fans, particularly when the names of quality players like Bojan Bogdanovic continue to be bandied about. But not only could Phoenix spend more money via trade, but just as importantly, they seem willing to go deeper into the luxury tax to retain their own players.

"They’re negotiating, from what I’ve been told, with Cam Johnson on a contract extension…It does indicate that they’re looking to invest long-term in another player…They’re operating like a championship contender looking to improve their team”, Windhorst said."

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Of course, things could change rapidly if Sarver gets further indication on what financial implications may look like. But for now, given the team’s recent extended deals for Devin Booker, Deandre Ayton, Mikal Bridges and head coach Monty Williams, fans should trust that ownership will continue to fork out the big bucks going forward.