There are a few statements that must be remembered this year in any conversation about changing the team going into next season.
Amnesty can only be used on guys who were under contract on your roster BEFORE the new CBA was signed.
The Suns are only under the salary cap for $23+ million if they renounce their cap holds on expired contracts, which means they would have no leverage over any other team to re-sign their own free agents.
And finally, for the first time since Steve Nash returned in 2004, the Suns can take on lopsided trades. For years, Suns fans have been forced to think of trades in terms of dollar-for-dollar exchanges. Or, outgoing salary dumps to teams with cap space.
In other words, the word "trade" is kind of a 4-letter word to Suns' fans thinking because its nearly impossible to outright WIN a dollar-for-dollar trade.
Well, those days are over (as long as the Suns renounce cap holds on Nash and Hill). The Suns now CAN take on bigtime salary, as well as accepting draft picks for the privilege to eat someone's big contract. The Suns can now take on a Kurt Thomas-like contract from a cap-hurt team, and get a draft pick or two for their troubles.
Do not discount this possibility in your planning for future greatness.
Remember the Oklahoma City Thunder. They kept open cap space for years, rather than spending on free agents to put around a young Durant. During that time, they acquired 4 #1 draft picks over 3 years in exchange for absorbing a mere 2 one-year bloated contracts (Kurt Thomas and Morris Peterson).
Remember the Boston Celtics, who were able to acquire Ray Allen for their first-round pick. A bad move by itself, but that move convinced Boston and Minny to execute the Kevin Garnett swap and win a title in 2008, one year after the Celtics had one of the worst records in the league.
The Suns can now relieve a team that needs to shed salary. In one year, the luxury tax starts escalating. Teams will be shedding big contracts left and right, and giving up draft picks to entice another team to take on their guys.
If the Suns really want to build through the draft as Babby said in the press conference the other day, then acquiring draft picks in one-sided trades is definitely a good way to go.