2018 Offseason Salary Cap Digest: Phoenix Suns

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:

Guaranteed Salary

Player Options

  • None

Team Options

  • None

Non-Guaranteed Salary

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.

Footnotes:

  1. Reed’s salary becomes fully guaranteed after June 30.
  2. 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.
  3. Harrison’s exact contract details aren’t yet known.
  4. 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.

Salary information from Basketball Insiders and RealGM was used in the creation of this post. Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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12 thoughts on “2018 Offseason Salary Cap Digest: Phoenix Suns

  1. Z-A

    So they draft Ayton. Sign Randle/Parker/Grodon. Use Chriss & Bender & Chandler & Dudley & #16 to get a PG.

    Suns Get: Reggie Jackson & Batum
    Pistons Get: Walker, Bender, Reed
    Hornets Get: Chandler, Dudley, S. Johnson, Chriss, #16

    Salary dump for Hornets, Pistons get an all star PG for 1 season (he will want max next year, which is why not to the Suns). Suns get Jackson at a reasonable rate for 2 seasons versus 1 season of Walker & then having to max him out and Batum is a quality player that can pay SF and SG, albeit overpaid.

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    • hiflew

      I think you are SERIOUSLY overvaluing Reggie Jackson here. Batum is nothing more than a salary dump, but Jackson is still not worth 4 decent players AND a mid first round pick. That is pretty close to the haul that Chris Paul got last year. Jackson is nowhere near that.

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      • Dionis

        The chemistry between Griffin,Drummond, and Reggie could be seamless. Give it till the trade deadline before you make any decision on moving Reggie.

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    • hiflew

      Besides if they are going to give up that much, then why not exclude the Pistons and send it to Charlotte for Walker?

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    • hiflew

      A much simpler trade would be

      Suns get: Walker, Marvin Williams
      Hornets get: Chandler, Dudley, Chriss, #16 pick

      Chandler and Walker basically offset salary wise same dollars/same years. Getting Dudley for Williams, Charlotte would get out of one extra year of Williams and get a young player with potential + a pick.

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  2. Dionis

    I got a bad feeling about giving Booker that $156 million dollar extension, I don’t think he’s worth it.

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    • Z-A

      How? They made the dumb moves. Drafted Bender then traded for Chriss, they play the same position. Kris Dunn and Jamal Murray went after Bender. The drafted Warren and Booker back to back years. And Jackson looks like a solid player. They messed up 1 year so far of 4. 2013-14 draft wasn’t viewed as a good draft at the time and almost every scout during that draft should be fired for passing on Giannis, Porter, McCollum, Dipo, Adams, Schroder, and Gobert.

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      • Dionis

        You are giving up way too early on Bender, the dude is a stud.

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  3. rxbrgr

    Are the rookie scale 120% cap holds listed here estimates or are those already finalized?

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    • Luke Adams

      Good question. They’re linked to cap growth like the various mid-level exceptions are now, so they’re not set in stone yet. I’ve added a note to make that clear.

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