The NBA’s worst team in 2017/18, the Suns won fewer than 25 games for a third straight season and posted their worst record since 1968/69, the franchise’s first year of existence. As dismal as that sounds, Devin Booker continues to look like a franchise cornerstone, and young players like Josh Jackson showed promise. With a pair of first-round picks in hand – including a top-four selection – and some salary cap flexibility, the Suns are optimistic they can make a splash this summer and finally take a step toward contention in 2018/19.
Here’s where things currently stand for the Suns financially, as we kick off our Offseason Salary Cap Digest series for 2018:
- Brandon Knight ($14,631,250)
- Tyson Chandler ($13,585,000)
- T.J. Warren ($11,750,000)
- Jared Dudley ($9,530,000)
- Josh Jackson ($6,041,520)
- Dragan Bender ($4,661,280)
- Devin Booker ($3,314,365)
- Troy Daniels ($3,258,539)
- Marquese Chriss ($3,206,160)
- Davon Reed ($689,121) — Partial guarantee. Non-guaranteed portion noted below.1
- Total: $70,667,235
- Alan Williams ($5,520,000)2
- Tyler Ulis ($1,544,951)
- Shaquille Harrison ($1,378,242)3
- Davon Reed ($689,121) — Partial guarantee. Guaranteed portion noted above.1
- Total: $9,132,314
Restricted Free Agents
- Elfrid Payton ($4,749,591 qualifying offer / $9,997,020 cap hold)
- Total: $9,997,020
Unrestricted Free Agents / Other Cap Holds
- No. 1 overall pick ($8,095,595)4
- Alex Len ($7,956,438): Bird rights
- No. 16 overall pick ($2,589,510)
- Total: $18,641,543
Projected Salary Cap: $101,000,000
Projected Cap Room: $18,958,539
- While the Suns only have about $70MM in guaranteed money on their books, they may have to account for more than $10MM in cap holds for their two first-round picks, which significantly cuts into their potential cap room. Our projection assumes that Phoenix retains its nine guaranteed contracts, plus Reed and its two first-rounders, totaling $82,041,516. In that scenario, the Suns would renounce Payton and Len, and waive their non-guaranteed players. The team could create more room via trades or cuts, and would also open up a little more space with bad draft lottery luck — the cap hold for the No. 4 overall pick would only be $5,864,640.
- Reed’s salary becomes fully guaranteed after June 30.
- Williams can reportedly trigger a $1MM partial guarantee by meeting certain weight, body fat, and minute requirements. His salary becomes fully guaranteed after July 6.
- Harrison’s exact contract details aren’t yet known.
- The Suns are first in the draft lottery standings, giving them a 25% chance at the No. 1 overall pick. They also could end up at No. 2 ($7,243,344), No. 3 ($6,504,619), or No. 4 ($5,864,636).
Note: Rookie scale cap holds are estimates based on salary cap projections and could increase or decrease depending on where the cap lands.