The Suns don’t seem to be bothered by the NBA’s punitive second luxury tax apron, which most are referring to as a “hard cap.”
We learned that about the Suns after they agreed to trade for Wizards star guard Bradley Beal, adding him to a roster with forward Kevin Durant and shooting guard Devin Booker. Throw in center Deandre Ayton, and that right there is a lot of money.
Durant, Booker and Ayton are due $116 million combined in 2023-24, and $135 million the following season. Meanwhile, Beal’s salary over the next four seasons averages out at $50 million per.
The second tax line was put in place to keep teams from doing exactly what they’re doing, as noted by ESPN’s Brian Windhorst. And that would be to keep teams from building “super teams” or Big Threes. Basically, it is designed to keep teams from having more than two players on max deals.
But again, clearly, the Suns don’t seem to care — as they have decided it serves them best to spend unheard-of amounts in tax penalties to try to win. As Windhorst wrote, the Suns have decided to “explode right through” the second tax apron, which goes into effect July 1.
That’s despite the fact they will lose free agency and trade options, and even future options on draft picks. In other words, don’t expect the Suns to make another splash (or any other sort of signing) for quite some time.
Along with adding Beal and reportedly guard Jordan Goodwin from the Wizards, the Suns are expected to try to re-sign big men Torrey Craig and Jock Landale, swingman Damion Lee, along with keeping point guard Cameron Payne.