Just a quick open thread to recap what the Phoenix Suns did, or didn’t do, on day one of free agency, and a preview of what’s to come...
What happened so far
- JaVale McGee leaves Phoenix for a three-year deal with the Dallas Mavericks for $20.1 million
- Aaron Holiday agrees to one-year deal with Atlanta Hawks, per Shams
- Devin Booker agrees to a supermax extension of $224 million that starts in 2024 and keeps Booker under contract until the summer of 2028
- Oh... and that other bit of news...
BOOM! Kevin Durant demanded a trade from the Brooklyn Nets, and wants to come to the Phoenix Suns.
Once that request was made, the Suns turned ALL their attention to making this happen. That means no other negotiations are being initiated by the Suns. Why sign new player(s) if you don’t even know what the team will look like after this trade? What if you have to include both Mikal Bridges and Cameron Johnson in the deal, so now you need to spend your TPMLE money on wings?
So, the Suns won’t spend their one spending vehicle quite yet.
To that end, the market is quickly drying up. Tons of those replacement centers for Deandre Ayton have already agreed to new deals with new teams, but you could make the case that the Suns have wanted to move away from being centered on a center for a while now. They can only hope that Bismack Biyombo is willing to return to Phoenix on likely a minimum deal for another run at a title.
What to expect
Expect to constantly refresh your apps until you see the notification from Shams or Woj that Durant is being sent to Phoenix.
Very likely, almost certainly, that will mean the loss of Deandre Ayton and at least one of Mikal Bridges and Cameron Johnson. If the Suns can work some magic to keep Mikal, that would be an incredible win.
There’s certainly a world where the Suns send both Bridges and Johnson to the Nets in the Durant deal and then simply pivot back to Ayton and say ‘hey, NOW will you take less than max and stay here long-term?’.
Imagine a starting lineup with Chris Paul, Devin Booker, Jae Crowder, Kevin Durant and Deandre Ayton. The problem here is depth. Bridges/Johnson are gone, along with 1-2 of the other bench guys.
It’s more likely Ayton still gets signed-and-traded to get back some depth and/or picks.
I’m highly curious what happens here.
What’s left on day two, in terms of free agents, is getting pretty slim in terms of greater-than-minimum-value. Remember, the Suns only have the tax-Payer Midlevel exception to work with ($6.5 million).
Players who might fit in the TPMLE range:
- PF/SF Otto Porter Jr.
- PF/C Montrezl Harrell (major legal issues!)
- PF/SF Carmelo Anthony
- SF T.J. Warren
- SG Caleb Martin
- SG Cody Martin
- SG Donte DiVincenzo
- PG Dennis Schroder
That’s not a long list.
Talk to you when we know the return package for Durant...