Hoops Rumors is breaking down the 2018 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 2018/19 season holds for all 30 franchises. Today, we’re focusing on the Phoenix Suns.
- Standard contracts:
- Trevor Ariza: One year, $15MM. Signed using cap space.
- Jamal Crawford: One year, minimum salary. Signed using minimum salary exception.
- Two-way contracts:
- Non-guaranteed camp contracts:
- 1-1: Deandre Ayton — Signed to rookie contract.
- 1-10: Mikal Bridges — Signed to rookie contract.
- 2-31: Elie Okobo — Signed to four-year, $6.12MM contract. First two years guaranteed. Signed using cap space.
- 2-46: De’Anthony Melton — Signed to two-year, $2.37MM contract. Fully guaranteed. Signed using room exception.
- 2-59: George King — Signed to two-way contract.
- Devin Booker — Signed five-year, maximum salary rookie scale extension. Starts at 25% of the cap. Projected value of $158.05MM. Starts in 2019/20.
- Note: Starting salary will be worth 27.5% of the cap if Booker makes All-NBA Third Team, 28.5% for Second Team, and 30% for Third Team.
Other offseason news:
Salary cap situation:
- Used cap space; now over the cap.
- Carrying approximately $105.5MM in salary.
- $3.5MM of room exception still available ($949K used on De’Anthony Melton).
Check out the Phoenix Suns’ full roster and depth chart at RosterResource.com.
Story of the summer:
Devin Booker is still around. In fact, Booker signed a rookie scale max five-year extension this summer, which will make him a franchise cornerstone for years to come.
Beyond Booker and his sweet shooting stroke, the Suns look a whole lot different than they did last season. In fact, Phoenix had the biggest roster turnover of any team this offseason.
The Suns made some history in May by hiring Igor Koskokov, the first European-born head coach in NBA history. Koskokov spent 18 years in the league, most recently with the Jazz, before finally getting his big chance.
Draft night was guaranteed to be a pivotal moment in franchise history since the Suns had the top pick. They opted for center Deandre Ayton, who got his NBA career rolling with an 18-point, 10-rebound, 6-assist performance in his regular-season debut. Ayton could quickly develop into the one of the league’s premier big men, which would give the Suns a formidable inside-outside duo.
They swung a deal for another lottery pick, No. 10 selection Mikal Bridges, whom they project as their long-term solution at small forward. In the interim, Phoenix made a splash by signing Trevor Ariza to a one-year, $15MM contract.
Ariza’s contributions as a leader and winner will have a greater long-term impact than anything he does on the court this season. A sage, respected voice was needed in the locker room and they met Ariza’s price to provide it.
Ariza gave up a chance to play for a contender but he can re-enter the market next summer after cashing some big checks. He’ll put up some big numbers along the way and provide his usual solid defense, something the coaching staff can point out in the film room to the younger players.
Perhaps the most surprising personnel moves were made by owner Robert Sarver. During the latter stages of training camp, Sarver abruptly fired GM Ryan McDonough and several other executives. Typically, these types of decisions come right after a disappointing season rather than October in order to let the new regime shape the franchise as it sees fit. McDonough wasn’t going to win any popularity contests but the decisions he made this summer before clearing out his office will be felt for many years.