Suns Rumors: Elfrid Payton, Alex Len Won't Be Re-Signed by Phoenix

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistJune 27, 2018

Phoenix Suns' Elfrid Payton passes the ball around Orlando Magic's D.J. Augustin, left, during the second half of an NBA basketball game, Saturday, March 24, 2018, in Orlando, Fla. (AP Photo/John Raoux)
John Raoux/Associated Press

The Phoenix Suns reportedly will renounce the rights to Elfrid Payton and Alex Len, according to Scott Bordow of AZCentral.com, clearing around $10 million in cap space in the process. 

The move will help make financial room for the team as they seek to add a veteran around a young core of Deandre Ayton, Devin Booker, Josh Jackson and Mikal Bridges. 

The Suns could also potentially clear additional cap space by ridding themselves of four non-guaranteed contracts: Alan Williams ($5.5 million), Tyler Ulis ($1.5 million), Davon Reed ($1.38 million) and Shaq Harrison ($1.38 million). That could get the Suns to a little over $18 million in cap space.

That should be enough to attract a major upgrade at either point guard or stretch-4, or potentially even be enough to add one solid option at each position.

If they put most of that money into one player, Marcus Smart, Isaiah Thomas or Jabari Parker are possibilities. If they seek to address both positions, some combination of Fred VanVleet, Dante Exum or Seth Curry (the guard options) and Ersan Ilyasova, Nemanja Bjelica or Anthony Tolliver (the stretch-4 options) would make sense.

The Suns could also seek to trade Brandon Knight to move his $14.6 million salary, though it's unlikely any team will be eager to take on that cap hit, given that he's also due to make $15.6 million in the 2019-20 season. The other alternative would be using the stretch provision to waive him, stretching the payments of his salaries over the next five years. 

That would lower his cap hit to $6 million this year and leave the Suns with around $26 million in cap space, meaning they could chase a big fish like restricted free agent like Aaron Gordon. But it would also mean paying Knight for five seasons and leaving the depth chart at point guard severely thin, even if Ulis is retained. 

Nonetheless, the Suns have options to clear space this summer if they want to attempt to make a big splash. 

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