Thursday, May 3rd, 2012 at 10:55 am  |  23 responses

Exec: Phoenix Suns Might Not Use League-High Cap Space This Summer

Often criticized for their unwillingness to spend on free agents, the Phoenix Suns are once again sounding like they won’t pay to improve the squad this summer (surely, soon-to-be unrestricted free agent Steve Nash will love hearing this.) From the AZ Republic: “Suns President of Basketball Operations Lon Babby was part of the team that represented John Hinckley Jr. when he was tried for an assassination attempt on President Ronald Reagan. Thirty-one years later, he said he awakes each day feeling the same level of obligation to running the Suns because of the community’s passion for the team. Babby is not looking for shortcuts to please them. As much as he hopes that two years of retaining flexibility will pay off this summer, Babby warned that the Suns might not use their salary-cap space if it is not prudent. After missing the playoffs in successive seasons for the first time in 24 years, the Suns might ask for more patience rather than misspend or make decisions that don’t fit the goal of becoming a team that annually competes for championships. The Suns will have a league-high $23 million in cap space that could be used to sign free agents in July or make a one-sided trade that takes on salary. ‘There’s a distinct possibility that we don’t use our cap room this summer,’ Babby said. ‘We’ve worked hard to put ourselves in this position to have this kind of flexibility, to have a range of opportunities, but I’m absolutely determined that we are going to be disciplined in how we approach this because we cannot get ourselves right back in the same spot we were in by doing bad contracts, not assessing value properly, not making the right choices in terms of personnel.’ The Suns already made one decision on a free agent. Babby said that it is ‘quite likely, if not certain, that we’re going to match’ any offer sheet on restricted free agent Robin Lopez, a four-year Suns center.”

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  • AsadSaleh3

    Goodbye Steve Nash. A 38 year old PG who wants to win a championship can’t have patience with the organization.

  • http://www.twitter.com/hurstysyd Hursty

    Well, good to know they hold Robin Lopez as a priority though..sigh..

  • http://redoftoothandclaw.ca/ niQ

    What is this… I don’t even…

  • Bt

    They should use the cap space to sign a new owner

  • Jerome

    This is a general (GM) consensus, I believe. Rookies, Vets better fall in step. Seems like that kind of warning.

  • @boweezy24

    Nash To The Knicks.

  • Groves

    Nash To The Heat

  • Mas

    They almost made the playoffs with the current squad. Why go out and spend money on a player that is not worth a Max deal…STAT, Boozer, Brand, Blake (soon), ect. Get solid players (Gortat) and build in the draft like OKC, Utah, San Antonio. I think Lopez stays unless he comes to join forces with bro in BK.

  • Mas

    Nevermind. R. Lopez to the Clippers next year. Ouch!

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    smh. You are going to match any offer to Robin Lopez? You F*CKING SAID THAT? NOW SOME TEAM IS GOING TO OFFER HIM A F*CKING ASSLOAD OF MONEY YOU DUMBASS!!! F*CK. if Phoenix pays Robin Lopez a cent over $7M a year i will lose all respect for Lon Babby. ANd I don’t really even have that much too lose.
    P.S. Sell the Team Robert Sarver.

  • Niio

    Makes sense to me, they don’t want to pull a Nets move and make all these deals to convince Nash to stay to only leave anyways. Plus at 38 years old I don’t see him playing any longer than 2 more years anyway so put yourself in the red for only 2 more years of potential glory? There isn’t a whole lot of can’t miss free-agents this coming summer either.

  • AsadSaleh3

    Great move to ensure that Nash will be leaving. Lottery team next season. Start the rebuilding process.

  • http://www.slamonline.com megatron

    lol I read this article somewhere last night and I knew nbk would have something to say about it. If steve nash stays in Phoenix, his desire to win has to be questioned and criticized.

  • http://slamonline.com datkid

    Steve nash gotta leave yo… run to a contender fam! RUN WHILE YOU STILL HAVE A CHANCE!!!!

  • jose


  • Heals

    When it comes to $$$ for players I couldn’t care less about what Phx does. Unless of course they wanna sell more of their draft picks to the C’s (thanks for Rajon). And good luck finding a back-up for Stevie better than Dragic or RR…

  • LA Huey

    I’ll admit I’ve only seen a handful of Suns games in the past two years but what about Robin Lopez makes him a priority to resign. As watered down the pivot position is in this league, I don’t even think of him when I try to recall “good” centers in the NBA today.
    Also, they should bring Dragic back for $18M for 3 yrs

  • Jeremy

    The Suns are a garbage organization. Maybe they should give this team to vancouver… along with Nash.

  • MikeC.

    Did you guys read the whole article, or just the headline? Babby said they wouldn’t spend if it wasn’t prudent. He said they will evaluate talent and spend if it’s warranted. If you just want someone to throw money away, I’m sure Dolan would give Isiah a good reference. Zeke can spend money. He’ll offer Lopez a max deal and then use the full mid-level on Jerome James so Robin can have a tutor. Gortat will then be traded to NY with Nash for Jared Jeffries and Mike Bibby.

  • http://thetroyblog.com Teddy-the-Bear

    @ nbk: What if the GM doesn’t actually want to keep Lopez, and is instead baiting other teams to overpay for him? That would be smart.

  • http://Slamonline.com nbk

    That would be really smart. I hope so. And I will gladly admit how much respect Babby gains if that happens.

  • Justin G.

    Megatron, I disagree. Maybe a championship isn’t his number one priority. Not everybody thinks a ring validates their careers. I don’t think anybody looks down on Karl Malone, John Stockton, Barkley, Ewing, etc. on their careers just because they didn’t win

  • L Dribble

    Apart from the availability of Deron and Kwame they are better off saving that space for 2013 when there is a much better free agent class: Josh, Dwight, Tyreke, Ginobili, Jefferson, Ty Lawson, Bynum, Monta, Curry, Kevin Martin, Millsap etc. Unless they trade, but what are they offering?

    The only other names in 2012 aren’t game changers (Lin, Jamison, Ryan Anderson) or are old – Duncan, Garnett, Bibby, Kidd, Allen, McGrady, Stackhouse – that would have been some class ten years ago.