For the 2012-13 season, the Suns will have 6 players under contract at a total of 30,712,000 which leaves $27,288,000 in cap space but that giant amount will not be the amount the Suns can spend.
The Suns are currently drafting at 11 in the draft and the salary for last year’s 11th pick was 1,772,100, a report a few days ago suggested the Suns would pay Steve Nash $8-10m this summer, so let’s say the Suns pay him $9m, the Suns’ cap space is already down to $16,515,900.
And then we have Aaron Brooks, when he returns from China next month, the only way he can sign for about 25 of the NBA teams is if the Suns renounce him. If he is going to leave the Suns, he will likely have to sit out the rest of the season when the Suns make him a new qualifying offer and teams will have more cap space, still I will be very surprised if Aaron Brooks is not a Sun, the Suns need a PG who can split minutes with Nash over the next 2 years and he should be that man. How much will he cost? That’s debateable, but around $5.75m a year will be likely be enough to secure him for 4 years, I will be very surprised if he signs for less than that.
At $5.75m for Brooks, the Suns cap space would be down to $10,765,900, that $27m cap room isn’t looking so great now is it. They will also have the MLE available if it is needed.
The Suns will have much less cap space in 2013 if they spend money now because they have no one coming off the salary til 2014 when Marcin Gortat and Hakim Warrick’s contracts worth a combined $12,687,200 in the final year end.
The Suns are currently committed to 4 guys through at least 2015 if Childress and Frye pick up their player options. Obviously the Suns still have the amnesty clause, my guess is that Hakim Warrick is the guy who it will be used on sometime in the next 2 years, he is the only guy who has no future with the team long term.
Obviously trades can happen between now and free agency that may alter the Suns’ cap situation but if the front office continue to do what they say they will; rebuild with Nash, stay competitive and be good enough when Nash retires to not lose a beat and continue to improve. $10m cap space seems a lot more realistic than $20-30m.
Who will the Suns pursue you may ask, well it depends on the draft. If the Suns draft Beal or Lamb they will probably pursue someone like Batum, Beasley or Landry. If they draft Thomas Robinson, Perry Jones or MKG then they will probably pursue someone like Nick Young, OJ Mayo or possibly Barbosa on a short term deal.
Just don’t expect the Suns to sign 2-3 RFA’s and spend a ridiculous amount of money because the FO will be wary of losing all future financial flexibility. Who do you want to sign in free agency? Let us know in the comments.