The Phoenix Suns have to make a couple of key free-agency moves in order to become a better team next season.
Considering that Phoenix won 48 games during the 2013-14 campaign, one might be quick to question how much better the Suns can be. The answer: a whole lot.
The Suns posted an impressive record last season but still missed the playoffs in a brutal Western Conference. Phoenix likely needs to aim for 50 wins just to get an opportunity to participate in the playoffs as a road team.
A two-game difference doesn't seem big, but teams are getting better.
According to Jeff Goodman of ESPN.com, the Dallas Mavericks added Chandler Parsons when Houston decided not to match the offer sheet he had signed with Dallas. The Mavs also brought Richard Jefferson into the mix via free agency.
The remaining teams in the West could also make moves that bolster their rosters.
Luckily, ShamSports.com indicates the Suns should have about $30 million in cap space to work with after we include Thomas’ annual salary. Granted, Eric Bledsoe is a restricted free agent, and whatever it costs to bring him back will be deducted from their cap space.
Although it's tough to determine Bledsoe's future salary, let's assume he signs the four-year, $59 million max contract Sporting News' Sean Deveney suggested he was looking for earlier in the 2013-14 campaign.
The Suns would have around $19 million to spend on prospective players. Ideally, the Suns need to exploit market inefficiencies.
The franchise requires low-salary players that fit in with the roster. This would allow the team to add multiple quality guys, which in turn would make them more formidable. Cheap talent usually wins out.
Phoenix has needs at the forward and center positions after losing Channing Frye to the Orlando Magic in free agency. The Phoenix frontcourt is fairly decent, but decent won't cut it in the Western Conference.
Which players can the Suns bring in to help improve the team?