PHOENIX SUNS

ESPN’s Windhorst: Suns’ Sarver still must sign off on most big trades

Jan 3, 2023, 11:34 AM

Phoenix Suns and Mercury owner Robert Sarver attends Game Two of the 2021 WNBA Finals at Footprint ...

Phoenix Suns and Mercury owner Robert Sarver attends Game Two of the 2021 WNBA Finals at Footprint Center on October 13, 2021 in Phoenix, Arizona. The Mercury defeated the Sky 91-86 in overtime. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

With the calendar flipped to 2023, the Phoenix Suns now have the Feb. 9 trade deadline clearly in view.

Forward Jae Crowder’s season-long absence as he and the team search for a way to separate hangs above the team led by president of basketball operations and GM James Jones. As losers of six of the last seven games, there is even more reason to believe the Suns will be open to making deals.

How has their pending ownership situation impacted that?

While Jones has maintained he is empowered to run the franchise as he has in the past, there are complicating factors stemming from the rules that govern suspended owner Robert Sarver’s involvement, ESPN’s Brian Windhorst has investigated.

Sarver, who has a pending agreement to sell the team to Mat Ishbia, does not have the ability to be involved in the day-to-day operations, but certain trades still must be approved by him.

Sarver still has to give personal sign-off on any deal for a player with a salary that is more than the current “average player salary,” multiple league sources confirmed to ESPN. This would include any luxury tax payments, which the Suns are currently projected to pay.

The current average player salary is $10.8 million. Crowder’s salary is $10.2 million. And the Suns, according to sources, have had talks about various multiplayer trades over the past few months that would all likely have to end up on Sarver’s desk.

While the Suns have acknowledged Sarver’s agreement to sell to Ishbia, Windhorst adds that an official ownership change that would put Ishbia in power to approve trades is not expected to happen before the Feb. 9 trade deadline.

The NBA must send the proposed sale to a vote by the other owners after a vetting process.

That entire process, according to Windhorst, usually takes 2-3 months, and the league is currently busy with other matters.

It’s in collective bargaining agreement talks after pushing back a previously agreed-upon deadline.

Comments

Comment guidelines: No name-calling, personal attacks, profanity, or insults. Please keep the conversation civil and help us moderate comments by reporting abuse.
comments powered by Disqus

Phoenix Suns

Timberwolves Nuggets Basketball...

Associated Press

Timberwolves advance after defeating defending NBA champion Nuggets in Game 7

The Timberwolves overcame a 15-point halftime deficit — the largest comeback in a Game 7 in NBA playoff history — in Sunday's win.

19 hours ago

T.J. McConnell...

Associated Press

Pacers punch ticket to Eastern Conference finals with Game 7 win over injured Knicks

The Pacers rode one of the most sensational first halves in Game 7 history to a win over the Knicks, advancing to the Eastern Conference finals.

23 hours ago

Head coach Frank Vogel of the Phoenix Suns reacts during the second half of game three of the Weste...

David Veenstra

Suns GM James Jones on why Frank Vogel was fired: ‘We needed to improve in a lot of areas’

James Jones explained why the Suns fired Frank Vogel and why they waited so long to hire new head coach Mike Budenholzer.

3 days ago

Bradley Beal #3, Kevin Durant #35 and Devin Booker #1 of the Phoenix Suns watch from the bench duri...

Nick Borgia

James Jones on Suns’ Big 3: ‘Those guys aren’t going anywhere’

The Suns GM told Arizona Sports’ Burns & Gambo on Friday that there are no plans of trading Devin Booker, Kevin Durant or Bradley Beal.

3 days ago

Mike Budenholzer and James Jones pose for a picture...

Dan Bickley

Suns’ Mike Budenholzer has a chance to reach new heights in Phoenix

Mike Budenholzer has already notched his first victory as Suns head coach. He dominated a must-win introductory press conference Friday.

3 days ago

Phoenix Suns head coach Mike Budenholzer is introducted on Friday, May 17, 2024....

Kevin Zimmerman

Why Suns coach Mike Budenholzer might do what Frank Vogel couldn’t

Phoenix Suns head coach Mike Budenholzer played to a frustrated fan base. He gave reason to believe why he can do what Frank Vogel didn't.

3 days ago

ESPN’s Windhorst: Suns’ Sarver still must sign off on most big trades