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Suns’ priority this summer reportedly to find true point guard

NBA: Chicago Bulls at Phoenix Suns

Jan 22, 2024; Phoenix, Arizona, USA; Phoenix Suns forward Kevin Durant (35) and Phoenix Suns guard Bradley Beal (3) and Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker (1) reacts during the second half of the game against the Chicago Bulls at Footprint Center. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Watching Phoenix get swept out of the playoffs in the first round by Minnestoa, it was clear a few changes were coming. The first was Frank Vogel being shown the door and Mike Budenholzer being hired as coach.

The next goal is finding a pure point guard to be their floor general, reports the well-connected John Gambadoro of Arizona Sports 98.7 FM in Phoenix (hat tip Real GM). The goal is to find a true point guard who can play 20+ minutes a night, according to the report.

That echoes what Budenholzer said at his introductory press conference: “The conversations have been great, and there’s no doubt that we need to look at the whole roster and talk about the point guard.”

The Suns also would like to add an athletic wing and a backup center, according to the report.

The challenge is how the Suns will do any of that with a roster payroll already over the second apron, severely restricting the moves it can make. Just with the big three of Kevin Durant, Devin Booker and Bradley Beal the Suns are at $150.7 million in salary, and the league’s salary cap $141 million. Add in Jusuf Nurkic ($18.1 million), Grayson Allen ($15.6 million) and Nassir Little ($6.8 million), and the Suns are above the dreaded second apron tax, and they still have to re-sign Royce ONeale and round out the roster.

The Suns will only be able to get free agents willing to play for the league minimum, with their top target rumored to be Kyle Lowry, but others such as Kris Dunn are a possibility. Phoenix also could look to make a trade, but because they are over the second apron, they cannot aggregate players in a trade, and they have to take back the same or less money than they send out (they can’t add salary). With limited assets on the roster, finding the right trade will be difficult.

However they get it done, look for the Suns to add a point guard this summer.