It’s safe to say the Phoenix Suns are a tad disappointed to spend the first season since
Arizona online sportsbooks launched watching Golden State capture the 2022 NBA Championship.
Now, Monty Williams’ squad must rebound from its Western Conference semifinals loss to Dallas and set its sights on taking the franchise to the promised land in 2023.
That process normally would begin with Thursday’s NBA Draft, but Phoenix does not have any picks in this year’s two-round event, in part due to trading their first round pick to Oklahoma City in 2020 to acquire Chris Paul.
Suns Free Agency Update
That means GM James Jones will have to try his hand at retooling the team’s roster via NBA free agency.
That process begins with whether Phoenix plans on re-signing 2018 No. 1 pick Deandre Ayton, who is a restricted free agent this summer.
Ayton has a $31.5 million cap hold for the Suns this season, thanks to Phoenix being over the NBA’s salary cap limit. However, Phoenix still can spend up to $19.8 million, which does not apply to Ayton since he was drafted by the Suns.
It seems like if Jones parts with Ayton it will be via a “sign-and-trade” deal that would allow him to sign for the maximum allowed by the league instead of taking a cut by signing with another team as a restricted free agent.
If Ayton leaves, the Suns will need to decide how they will replace his productivity after the former Arizona Wildcat put up 17.2 points, 10.2 rebounds, and 1.4 assists per game during the regular season.
After the Suns make their decision regarding Ayton, they’ll likely have some flexibility to retool their roster in the paint, with options like Serge Ibaka and Montrezl Harrell being a possibility.
2023 NBA Championship Future Odds Top 12
Phoenix Among 2023 NBA Title Frontrunners
One way or another, Phoenix has emerged from the end of the Finals as one of the top NBA betting title contenders for 2023.
Both BetMGM Sportsbook Arizona and Caesars Sportsbook Arizona have Williams’ team among their favorites.
At BetMGM, Phoenix is listed at +900 to win the franchise’s first title in 2023, ranking sixth on the Arizona betting apps operator’s board.
At Caesars Sportsbook Arizona, Phoenix is +800 to win it all, tied the L.A. Clippers for the fifth position, behind the Warriors (+500), Nets and Celtics (+600 apiece), and Bucks (+750).