The Suns structured their Chris Paul trade to – rather than open about $16 million of cap space – preserve the mid-level exception (used on Jae Crowder), bi-annual exception ($3,623,000) and Bird Rights on Aron Baynes, Dario Saric and Jevon Carter.
So, there’s more onus on re-signing Baynes, Saric and Carter.
Phoenix will keep Carter, at least.
Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN:
Restricted free agent G Jevon Carter has agreed to a three-year, $11.5M deal to stay with the Suns, agent Mark Bartelstein of @PrioritySports tells ESPN.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) November 22, 2020
This is a solid deal for both sides.
At 6-foot-1, Carter is a hardnosed defender. He looks better offensively when his 3-pointers are falling. Though Carter has playmaking limitations, Phoenix can effectively pair him with point guard Cameron Payne in the backup backcourt.
Carter also gets a solid payday after entering the league as a second-round pick. He was a restricted free agent, which could have cooled his market.
The Suns should frontload this contract. They can pay Carter as much as $4,166,667 this season with declining salaries. That’d create more flexibility in future seasons. Phoenix won’t have cap space this year, regardless.
But that would cost Suns owner Robert Sarver more up-front money. So, we’ll see whether it happens.