EMPIRE OF THE SUNS

Report: Suns opt against making Aaron Holiday restricted free agent

Jun 29, 2022, 1:35 PM | Updated: 2:10 pm

The Phoenix Suns will not extend a qualifying offer to backup guard Aaron Holiday before NBA free agency begins, making him an unrestricted free agent and giving the team financial relief as it potentially goes into luxury tax territory for the first time in over a decade, reports HoopsHype’s Michael Scotto.

Holiday could have been sent a $5.8 million qualifying offer for next season that would have allowed Phoenix to match any opposing team’s contract offer.

It’s unsurprising after Holiday fell out of favor — even among a backup guard group including Cam Payne, Landry Shamet and Elfrid Payton that struggled last season.

Holiday made six playoff appearances but never played more than six minutes.

The brother of fellow NBA players Jrue and Justin Holiday, Aaron was the No. 23 pick in the 2018 draft.

He spent his first three seasons with the Indiana Pacers before splitting last year with the Washington Wizards and Suns. Phoenix acquired him at the trade deadline using cash and bringing his salary on via a disabled player trade exception related to injured big man Dario Saric.

Holiday made 22 regular-season appearances for Phoenix and averaged 6.8 points and 3.4 assists with 44% three-point accuracy.

The Suns have reportedly extended a qualifying offer to starting center Deandre Ayton and could make Ish Wainright and Iffe Lundberg restricted free agents by sending qualifying offers their way.

Phoenix also has unrestricted free agents JaVale McGee, Bismack Biyombo and Payton entering the market that officially opens to negotiations on Thursday afternoon.

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