NBA Suns Lock in Bol Bol & Beal’s Point Guard Surprise
In a stunning move, the Phoenix Suns have officially signed Bol Bol, the highly versatile center, to a one-year, fully guaranteed deal. As part of their aggressive strategy, the Suns orchestrated a series of transactions, including trading guard Cam Payne, a second-round draft pick, and cash to the San Antonio Spurs in exchange for a future second-round pick. Additionally, Phoenix acquired three second-rounders from Orlando in a draft pick swap, signaling their determination to enhance the team’s roster through further moves in the near future. The Suns once again will feature good NBA Lines.
As the 2023-24 training camp approaches, several sources claim the NBA Sun’s plan to unveil Bradley Beal, an unexpected addition, as their projected starting point guard. This surprising development follows the Suns’ acquisition of Jordan Goodwin, who will serve as the backup point guard, obtained through the Beal trade. By trading Payne, Phoenix stands to save a substantial $30 million in taxes. The Suns’ backcourt boasts a formidable lineup of talented ballhandlers, including Beal, Goodwin, Devin Booker, Kevin Durant, Eric Gordon, and the versatile two-way guard Saben Lee.
Bol Bol’s Integration into the NBA Suns’ System
The Suns’ offseason has been nothing short of extraordinary. Since securing Beal, Phoenix now possesses the league’s most formidable offensive trio with Beal, Booker, and Durant. General Manager James Jones has displayed astute financial maneuvering, meticulously assembling the rest of the roster despite challenging financial constraints.
Although Bol Bol enters his fifth season in the NBA, his true value remains somewhat enigmatic, having started only 35 games thus far. However, his undeniable skills and untapped potential are evident. Coming off an impressive season in Orlando, Bol brings not only size for effective rim protection but also decent shooting ability and ball-handling skills. He is expected to seamlessly integrate into the second unit, which could potentially become a significant team strength and help Phoenix’s NBA Odds.
Unveiling Bol’s Backstory
Bol Bol, aged 23, joins the Phoenix Suns after being waived by the Orlando Magic on July 4, the deadline for Orlando to guarantee his $2.2 million contract for the upcoming NBA season. Bol recently concluded his best season to date, averaging 9.1 points, 5.8 rebounds, and 1.1 blocks in 21.5 minutes per game during his tenure with Orlando. After participating in a total of 53 games across his initial three NBA seasons with the Denver Nuggets, Bol enjoyed a breakthrough campaign, featuring in 70 games and securing 33 starts.
It’s worth noting that in 2022, the Detroit Pistons attempted to trade for Bol Bol, but the deal fell through due to an issue identified during his physical examination. Consequently, Bol embarked on his journey with Orlando during the 2022 offseason.
The Rationale Behind Trading Payne
Some may question why the Suns opted to trade Payne, relinquishing cash and a draft pick, rather than simply waiving his partially guaranteed contract in June. The answer likely lies in the Suns’ precarious luxury tax situation. Waiving Payne would have imposed a $2 million burden on the Suns’ books, but considering the tax penalties, the actual cost would amount to approximately $10 million. By trading him instead, the Suns managed to transform that $10 million liability into a financial gain of $0.
This unconventional approach did incur the cost of cash and a future pick. However, it also generated a valuable $6.5 million trade exception, potentially deployable during the trade deadline. The more pressing concern revolves around identifying the Suns’ backup point guard in the wake of Payne’s departure. At present, Goodwin stands as the sole nominal point guard on the main roster, although his previous experience leaned more towards being a combo guard during his tenure in Washington. Another viable option is the athletic yet inconsistent Lee, who would need to transition from his two-way contract to a standard roster spot before being eligible for the playoffs.
Assessing Phoenix’s Draft Pick Strategy
Meanwhile, Phoenix made the savvy move of securing Bol Bol on a minimum contract, an intelligent gamble on his untapped potential. They also engaged in a pick swap with Orlando, resulting in the acquisition of three additional second-round picks, building upon a similar strategy employed in a prior trade involving Memphis. This high-risk approach provides the Suns with a greater arsenal of second-round picks, which can be leveraged in future trades to fortify the existing roster.
However, the trade involving Payne might complicate the utilization of those second-round picks in other trade scenarios, given the top-heavy nature of the current roster. With four players commanding max contracts, the Suns face challenges in acquiring a “middle class” player without Payne’s $6.5 million salary to match unless they explore the possibility of trading Deandre Ayton for multiple smaller contracts.