The Phoenix Suns are one of the youngest teams in the NBA and have a chance to improve a roster that finished a miserable 19-63 a year ago through a deep free agency class.
But how much spending power do the Suns have to land free agents?
According to Spotrac.com, Phoenix has $22.3 million in practical cap space to spend in free agency this offseason, which is right in the middle of the pack at No. 12. However, the team has reportedly extended a qualifying offer to restricted free agent Kelly Oubre, which carries a $9.6 million cap hold.
Oubre was traded to the Suns in December and averaged 16.9 points, 4.9 rebounds and 1.6 assists per game with the Suns while shooting 45% from the field.
When the season ended, he told Burns & Gambo on 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station that he wanted to stay with the team. However, ESPN’s Adrian Wojrarowski reported that Oubre, “is a target for significant offer sheets in the market, especially with cap space teams who miss out on high-profile unrestricted free agents.”
“Why would I go anywhere else?” he said. “I’m here, I’m getting established and I’m not a guy that really wants to be on a million teams in my tenure in the league and I just want to create a dynasty and a legacy here in Phoenix with (Deandre Ayton), (Devin Booker), (Mikal Bridges), all the guys in the locker room. It’s beautiful.”
Devin Booker Is the Centerpiece for Phoenix Suns
The centerpiece for the Suns is Devin Booker, who is signed through the 2023-24 season on a five-year max deal that will pay him $27.2 million next season.
When healthy, Booker has proven to be one of the best scorers in the league. He dropped a career-high 70 points on the Celtics in March of 2017 — 51 of those coming in one half.
The next big number on the Suns’ roster is Tyler Johnson, a name not likely known by casual NBA fans. Johnson is a guard who can play with the 1 or 2 spots and has averaged a modest 11 points, three rebounds and 2.5 assists in his career. The Fresno State product is on the books with a base salary of $19.2 million next season after picking up his player option.
Deandre Ayton, Josh Jackson, Mikal Bridges and Dario Saric are all on cap-friendly rookie deals.
The Suns also have some incoming rookies expected to contribute. After a series of draft day moves, Cam Johnson was selected by the Suns with the 11th overall pick in the draft and Ty Jerome was picked No. 24 pick.
The team also acquired veteran Aron Baynes from the Celtics on draft day. It was initially thought that the 32-year-old center would be bought out by the Suns, but reports indicate he is set to play for the team next season.
Early rumors have pointed to the Suns targeting guards Terry Rozier or D’Angelo Russell, although for the latter the front office would have to do some cap magic.