With a roster built to win now, the Phoenix Suns remain active in efforts to improve their title odds before training camp begins on Sept. 26.
ESPN’s Brian Windhorst reported on Monday that the Suns are expected to be percolating in trade negotiations, many centered around forward Jae Crowder.
Crowder, 32, has averaged 9.7 points and five rebounds per game in two seasons with the Suns. However, he’s entering the final season of his contract and the Suns are still eyeing trade partners.
“Crowder is a player who’s available on the market right now,” Windhorst said on NBA Today.
Arizona Sports’ John Gambadoro reported in June that Crowder’s name has been floated in the trade market. That isn’t the only action that could see Phoenix’s roster meet a shakeup before training camp.
While it’s not a foregone conclusion that Crowder will be traded before training camp starts, Windhorst mentioned the Suns are not afraid to add salary if it improves the roster.
Gambadoro reported on Sept. 1 they reached out with interest in Utah Jazz forward Bojan Bogdanovic.
“Folks that I’m talking to, they don’t get the sense that the Suns are afraid to continue to spend,” Windhorst said. “It would not surprise me if the Suns get involved in the negotiations for [Bogdanovic].”
On a $19.3 million salary, Bogdanovic is set to earn $9 million more than Crowder in 2022-23.
Bogdanovic also averaged 18.1 points and shot 39% from three-point range last season.
Another avenue the Suns have explored this summer is a contract extension with forward Cam Johnson. The fourth-year shooter out of North Carolina closed the regular season slumping from behind the arc but still finished sixth in the NBA in three-point percentage (minimum of 100 attempts).
“That wouldn’t affect this year’s salary, that would be for down the line,” Windhorst said, as Johnson still has one year of his rookie contract left. “But it would also indicate that they are looking to invest long-term … and avoid a restricted free agency situation like they had with Deandre Ayton last year.
“From a front office perspective … the Suns are operating like a championship contender looking to improve their team heading into camp.”