The Phoenix Suns have had a good offseason but not a great offseason. Yet.
A full three weeks into free agency, the Suns have imported backups Landry Shamet, Elfrid Payton and JaVale McGee while bringing back starter Chris Paul and backups Cameron Payne, Frank Kaminsky and Abdel Nader with new contracts. This team is the definition of continuity: all five starters and five of the top six reserves are back from the team that just won the Western Conference.
But…. they still have some contract negotiating to do to keep the starting unit together beyond next season.
Both Deandre Ayton and Mikal Bridges are eligible for contract extensions that would kick in a year from now. About 5-10 players in each first round are good enough in their first three years to get a long-term big-money extension a year ahead of restricted free agency. Teams often negotiate in good faith a year early with their best young players to keep them in the fold rather than take a chance of losing them in restricted free agency, and the Suns are no different.
Rookie-scale extensions for former first-round picks in the past two years: 8 in 2019 and 10 in 2020.
So far this summer, with just over weeks to go until training camp, the count is four:
- Luka Doncic (Mavericks): Five years, 30% SUPERMAX salary, $207 million
- Trae Young (Hawks): Five years, 25% maximum salary, at…