The Phoenix Suns have some holes to fill on their roster this offseason, and it quite honestly shouldn’t be all that complicated. Chris Paul will return. Cameron Payne will likely be made a priority as well.
Then you have to find a creative way to boost the bench depth and add as much talent (that fits the system) as possible. James Jones has been pretty solid on the margins in his time as General Manager of the Suns thus far, so there’s a reason for optimism heading into this offseason coming off a Finals run.
They’ll have multiple exceptions to use, the 29th overall pick, and veteran minimums to fill out the roster. It’s also possible they explore some trade options as well with Dario Saric, Jevon Carter, the 29th pick, and Jalen Smith being the likely potential moving parts if they go that route.
Players under contract:
- Chris Paul (most likely extending)
- Devin Booker
- Deandre Ayton
- Jae Crowder
- Dario Saric* (DPE)
- Mikal Bridges
- Jalen Smith
- Cameron Johnson
- Jevon Carter
- Pick 29
- Ty-Shon Alexander (2W)
That leaves five roster spots to fill, four if Payne returns which also seems to be likely at the moment. Again, this is under the overwhelmingly likely assumption that Chris Paul returns on an extension which seems to be the case according to multiple sources.
They can go full MLE ~$9.3M OR smaller MLE ~$5.3M.
For the sake of convenience we’ll just lump this entire group together and project players that fit this mold under either scenario. Some players may be on the higher end, others may be on the lower end… we’ll just meet halfway, make assumptions about who fits where on your own.
Josh Hart- SG, 6’5″ (Pelicans- RFA)
Richaun Holmes- F/C, 6’9″ (Kings)
Kelly Olynyk- F/C, 6’11” (Rockets)
Alec Burks- SG, 6’6″ (Knicks)
Nerlens Noel- F/C, 6’11” (Knicks)
Paul Millsap- F, 6’7″ (Nuggets)
Bobby Portis- F/C, 6’10” (Bucks)
JaMychal Green- F, 6’9″ (Nuggets)
Doug McDermott- F, 6’7″ (Pacers)
Alex Caruso- G, 6’4″ (Lakers)
The projected BAE number is ~$3.7M for next season. The Suns are eligible to use theirs depending on what else they decide to do with their roster extensions wise. It’s possible one of the lower-tier names mentioned above could fall into this category as well.
Javale McGee- C, 7’0″ (Nuggets)
Daniel Theis- F/C, 6’8″ (Bulls)
Jarred Vanderbilt- F, 6’9″ (TWolves-RFA)
Veteran Minimum Watch
These are the guys you fill the back end of the bench with on a cheap one-year deal near $1.7 million. Phoenix will likely need to add at least 3 players on a veteran’s minimum contract as things stand now.
It’s possible someone from the BAE section above could fit this profile as well… cough, cough… JaVale McGee. Let’s hope Devin Booker starts recruiting in Tokyo at the Olympics.
JJ Redick- SG, 6’5″ (Mavs)
Ersan Ilyasova- F, 6’9″ (Jazz)
Dewayne Dedmon- C, 7’0″ (Heat)
Retain on the Veteran Minimum?
- Torrey Craig- F, 6’7″ (potential BAE option)
- Frank Kaminsky- F/C, 6’10”
- E’Twaun Moore- G, 6’3″
- Langston Galloway- SG, 6’1″
It’s highly doubtful they bring all four of these guys back, but I could see at least one or two of them back for continuity purposes.
Winning on the margins in the offseason is the best way to set yourself up for a successful regular season by filling needs before they potentially become exposed. Phoenix will have some options this offseason to clean up on the edges and strengthen their roster heading into the 2021-22 NBA season.
Another recommendation I have for you offseason folks would be to check out The Timeline’s Youtube Channel where they are pumping out informative free agent videos. Sam Cooper and Mike Vigil do tremendous work on their podcast and Youtube channel, so subscribe if you already aren’t!
We’ll have plenty of more offseason coverage on the way in the coming days. Which free-agent targets interest you the most? Who was wrongfully excluded? Comment below with your picks.