John Gambadoro, the sports radio talk show host on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM Phoenix, says the Suns are still unwilling to pay any center $30 million per year.
“For a year now we’ve kind of assumed that the best scenario for the Suns was that somebody else would max out DeAndre, the Suns would just match the offer,” explains Gambadoro.
According to some NBA betting sites, the Suns have top-5 odds to win a championship in 2023. Although, a few sportsbooks are unsure if Phoenix can compete with the Golden State Warriors and Los Angeles Clippers.
“They’d save a year, and they’d save about $45 million,” continued John Gambadoro. But when sign-and-trade started to become a possibility, the Suns still don’t want to pay a center $30 million [per year].”
“This was not what they wanted to do. They don’t believe in that. They like the Kevon Looney angle: let me pay a center $10-12 million and his backup $5 [million], and I’ll spend that money elsewhere.”
Waiting months to pay Ayton also sent the wrong message.
John Gambadoro believes the Suns are still refusing to pay any center $30 million
Though, the Golden State Warriors selected Looney 30th overall in the 2015 NBA Draft. The comparison doesn’t work; there’s a bit of a difference. Phoenix wanted the best available center for as little as possible.
The Suns are unwilling to offer a center a maximum contract, but they used their 2018 first overall pick to draft Deandre Ayton, a 6’11” center. Instead of taking Luka Doncic, they picked the Arizona product.
In July, Suns G.M. James Jones ended up matching Ayton’s $133 million offer with the Indiana Pacers. Therefore, something is not quite adding up. This is all about greed. John Gambadoro would agree on that sentiment.
Sure, the NBA is a business. However, several fans think the Suns aren’t sure what they want. This is all very confusing. Jae Crowder has not yet signed a contract extension with the team. During the offseason, rumors surfaced that Phoenix had planned on trading the forward.
Now, Crowder is entering the final year of his three-year, $29 million contract he signed with the team in 2020. He will earn $10.183 million in the 2022-23 season.
To be fair, Jones and head coach Monty Williams were not part of previous management. They were hired later on with the team. Former G.M. Ryan McDonough put them in an awkward spot by drafting Ayton first overall.
John Gambadoro should be just as confused as anyone. This is why going from one executive to another can quickly turn a playoff contender upside down. On the other hand, with the right people in charge, it can transform an underachieving team into a championship-caliber threat.
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