After a disappointing season for the Phoenix Suns, fans are expecting a lot of their team. They have reason to be at least cautiously excited. The Suns will have $23 million of salary cap space, more than any team in the league. That means they can go get the best free agents of the offseason.
Or does it?
Lon Babby, the Suns' president of operarions, had this to say on the topic:
"There's a distinct possibility that we don't use our cap room this summer," Babby said. "We've worked hard to put ourselves in this position to have this kind of flexibility, to have a range of opportunities, but I'm absolutely determined that we are going to be disciplined in how we approach this because we cannot get ourselves right back in the same spot we were in by doing bad contracts, not assessing value properly, not making the right choices in terms of personnel."
So he is saying they might not use the space?
That's exactly right, and that is ok.
Too many times when teams have cap space, they go throw money at players that don't deserve it. It seems NBA owners can't help themselves. It is what prompted the NBA lockout in part.
Just because you have money does not mean you have to spend it. It can do good or bad things to your team. The summer that brought Steve Nash and Raja Bell to Phoenix was good. The summer that brought Hakim Warrick, Josh Childress and a trade for Hedo Turkoglu.
For every success in signing, there are disasters. The Detroit Pistons spent a lot of money a couple of offseasons ago. They got Ben Gordon and Charlie Villanueva.
The fact that Babby is willing to admit that they might not use all the salary cap enough is refreshing. Of course, owner Robert Sarver is known by many as a cheapskate owner. Not spending the money they have available would only add fuel to the fire.
But regardless, the team is trying to improve now and in the future. They don't see a need to just throw money at mediocre players as getting better now or later.
So in a nutshell, don't be alarmed if the Suns use their salary cap space...or if they don't. They want to get better, Steve Nash wants them better and the fans, too. That should be enough I hope.