Hoops Rumors is breaking down the 2019 offseason for all 30 NBA teams, revisiting the summer’s free agent signings, trades, draft picks, departures, and more. We’ll evaluate each team’s moves from the last several months and look ahead to what the 2019/20 season holds for all 30 franchises. Today, we’re focusing on the Phoenix Suns.
- Standard contracts:
- Ricky Rubio: Three years, $51MM. Signed using cap room.
- Kelly Oubre: Two years, $30MM. Re-signed using Bird rights.
- Frank Kaminsky: Two years, $9.77MM. Signed using room exception.
- Jalen Lecque: Four years, minimum salary. Third year non-guaranteed. Fourth-year team option. Signed using cap room.
- Cheick Diallo: Two years, minimum salary. Second-year team option. Signed using minimum salary exception.
- Two-way contracts:
- Non-guaranteed camp contracts:
- Acquired cash ($1.1MM) from the Pacers in a three-way trade in exchange for T.J. Warren (to Pacers) and the draft rights to KZ Okpala (No. 32 pick; to Heat).
- Acquired Dario Saric and the draft rights to Cameron Johnson (No. 11 pick) from the Timberwolves in exchange for the draft rights to Jarrett Culver (No. 6 pick).
- Acquired Aron Baynes and the draft rights to Ty Jerome (No. 24 pick) from the Celtics in exchange for the Bucks’ 2020 first-round pick (top-7 protected).
- Acquired Kyle Korver and Jevon Carter from the Grizzlies in exchange for Josh Jackson, De’Anthony Melton, the Suns’ 2020 second-round pick, and the Suns’ 2021 second-round pick (protected 36-60).
- Note: Korver later waived.
- 1-11: Cameron Johnson — Signed to rookie contract.
- 1-24: Ty Jerome — Signed to rookie contract.
- Dragan Bender
- Jamal Crawford
- Troy Daniels
- Jimmer Fredette (declined team option)
- Richaun Holmes
- Josh Jackson
- George King (two-way)
- De’Anthony Melton
- Ray Spalding (declined team option)
- T.J. Warren
Other offseason news:
- Named James Jones permanent general manager
- Hired Jeff Bower as senior VP of basketball operations.
- Fired head coach Igor Kokoskov.
- Hired Monty Williams as new head coach.
- Hired Steve Blake, Willie Green, and several other assistant coaches.
Salary cap situation:
- Used cap space; now over the cap.
- Carrying approximately $120.86MM in salary.
- No cap exceptions available.
Story of the summer:
After unexpectedly firing general manager Ryan McDonough just before the 2018/19 season got underway, the Suns didn’t name a permanent replacement until this past spring. James Jones, less than two years removed from appearing in the NBA Finals as a player, was placed in charge of Phoenix’s front office, with veteran executive Jeff Bower joining him in a key management role.
Although the Suns are in rebuilding mode, their offseason moves perhaps reflected the new front office’s belief that some veteran stability was necessary to complement its young prospects — and to help them develop.
It didn’t initially look like Phoenix would have any real cap room to work with in free agency, but the team managed to create a little flexibility by moving T.J. Warren and Josh Jackson – two players drafted by the previous regime – in separate trades. That newly-created room was enough to sign Ricky Rubio to a three-year, $51MM deal and to take on Aron Baynes‘ and Dario Saric‘s expiring contracts.
While Deandre Ayton and Devin Booker project to be the cornerstones of the Suns for years to come, they’ll need to some help to maximize their potential, and the front office identified those veterans as good candidates to move that process forward. Rubio will create easier shots for Phoenix’s young duo; Baynes will serve as a veteran mentor for Ayton; and Saric’s ability to stretch the floor will help open up space for both young stars to operate.