The Suns are ready to make aggressive moves in free agency, but not without a little house cleaning first, according to Scott Bordow of The Arizona Republic.
Look for Phoenix to maximize its cap room by shedding some unwanted salary, Bordow writes, with free agents Elfrid Payton and Alex Len both likely to be renounced. Payton’s performance was uneven after coming to the Suns in a midseason trade and he carries a $10MM cap hold. Len became expendable with the addition of No. 1 pick Deandre Ayton.
Those moves would give the team about $10MM for the free agent market, but the Suns are thinking bigger. Bordow expects them to cut ties with center Alan Williams, who has a non-guaranteed $5.52MM salary for next season. They may try to re-sign him or trade him to a team that can afford him more easily.
Other non-guaranteed contracts that might get discarded belong to Tyler Ulis ($1.54MM) and Shaquille Harrison ($1.38MM), while Davon Reed has a $1.38MM deal with a $689,212 guarantee. The deadline to decide on Ulis’ deal is tomorrow.
With up to $20MM available to chase free agents, Phoenix will focus on finding a point guard and a power forward who can defend and shoot from the outside.
Bordow lists the Clippers’ Patrick Beverley, the Celtics’ Marcus Smart, the Bulls’ Zach LaVine, the Raptors’ Fred VanVleet and the Jazz’ Dante Exum as potential backcourt targets, while Utah’s Derrick Favors, Houston’s Trevor Ariza or Luc Mbah a Moute, Milwaukee’s Jabari Parker, Indiana’s Thaddeus Young, San Antonio’s Rudy Gay or Philadelphia’s Ersan Ilyasova could fit the four spot. If the Suns find a power forward, Bordow expects them to explore trading either Dragan Bender or Marquese Chriss.