The Phoenix Suns have had an offseason to remember, with the addition of Bradley Beal seeming to catch the whole league off guard. To then follow that up with the signing of no less than eight players on minimum deals, was some fantastic business by owner Mat Ishbia.
While Devin Booker, Kevin Durant, Deandre Ayton and Beal will rightly get most of the attention, the importance of filling out the roster with competent players cannot be overstated. The Suns did a masterful job of blending veterans who want to win a championship, with young players like Bol Bol who still have a lot to prove in the league.
In fact the organization has done so well here, that you can make a case that most of their players outside of the top four are already underpaid.
Taking Bol as an example, and after a season with the Orlando Magic in which he turned some heads, he is only making $2.1 million next season, on what is a one year deal. Given the intrigue that Bol provides, he surely could have gotten even a small bit more money to play elsewhere, while also having less of a fight on his hands to earn some minutes.
There are another six players now on this roster who are all making less than $3.5 million next season (and in the case of all bar one player, it is less than $3 million), and who also all have player options on their deals for similar money for 2024-25 as well. Clearly then this is a chance for them to play well, hopefully win a ring, and get paid elsewhere.
3. Eric Gordon
Beginning with the player who would have had no problem taking the minimum to join the Suns, and Eric Gordon is still underpaid. Having made roughly $176 million in 15 seasons in the league however, it is easy to see why the 34-year-old took less money to join this particular contender.
The role for Gordon is clearly defined here, and he will be a closer against certain opponents, particularly in the postseason. Entering the final stretch of his career, and Gordon is looking to maximize every opportunity that he can to win the championship that has so far evaded him.
Having spent seven seasons with the Houston Rockets, and the tail end of last year with the L.A. Clippers, Gordon is no stranger to playing for teams that have high expectations. It just so happens that the Suns were also able to give him the kind of role that a lot of others could not. So much so that Gordon may even be able to take some games off during the regular season.
The Suns have the postseason in mind with Gordon, whose high level of defensive play and ability to knock down an open look will be crucial for the team as they make a run. He shot a ridiculous 42 percent from 3-point range with the Clippers on five attempts per game in his short time there. If this doesn’t work out, Gordon can still make some money elsewhere as he winds down his career.