The Suns have more than $13 million in cap space remaining.
Don’t count on them spending it anytime soon.
Phoenix general manager Ryan McDonough, via Paul Coro of The Arizona Republic:
“I’d be surprised if we spent a lot of that cap space now or over the summertime,” Suns General Manager Ryan McDonough said. “More likely, we’ll preserve most, if not all of it, and go into the season and look at either in-season signings or probably more likely in-season trades that are lopsided where we take back more money than we send out. There are a decent amount of advantages to operating as an under-the-cap team in terms of player aggregation and trades and things like that.”
There’s certainly a logic to maintaining cap space for in-season deals. But the value is far less this year, when multiple teams will have room due to the skyrocketing salary cap. If they have their eyes on getting positive assets in salary dumps, the Suns will have to compete with other teams — and settle for weaker positive assets.
That still might be the right course if Phoenix doesn’t like any remaining free agents. (This removes one possible destination for Maurice Harkless, whose standoff with the Trail Blazers appears more likely to drag on.)
The Suns have 15 players — the regular-season roster limit — though John Jenkins and Alan Williams have unguaranteed deals. Phoenix could sign another low-priced player or two to compete in training camp, but that’s small potatoes. The Suns appear set to hoard their cap space.
The catch: This is also what cheap teams say. They hide their frugality by saying they’re maximizing flexibility. It’s impossible to tell the difference at this stage. So, keep an eye on Phoenix’s in-season moves.