Phoenix Suns

Established in 1968, the Phoenix Suns competes in the Western Conference as a member of the Pacific Division. In their overall 56 seasons till now, the Suns have made 32 playoff appearances. The franchise has won three conference titles (1976, 1993, and 2021). However, the team always fell short of having the glorious championship ring. With new investments and the newly formed Big Three, the Suns are one of the strongest contenders in the division.?

SeasonPlayoff AppearancesConference TitlesNBA Championships
1968-2023323 (1976, 1993, 2021)0

Franchise History and Ownership

The franchise began as an expansion team. The first few years were mired with mediocrity. Suns finished their first year at 16-66, missing the playoffs. Critics doubted the success of Phoenix as an NBA market, but the franchise grew rapidly in the country. Their trip to the NBA finals finally ended in 1976 against Bill Russell?s Boston Celtics. The Suns pushed the series to six games. In a buzzer-beating shot, the Celtics ultimately won the championship. After coming this close to the finals, the franchise started to rebuild around Walter Davis and also acquired Kevin Johnson in 1988. With Johnson, the Suns reached the playoffs for thirteen consecutive appearances and remained a title contender throughout the 1990s in the Charles Berkley era.?

The Suns made it into the finals again but lost to the Chicago Bulls. Berkley was named the MVP in the 1992?93 season.?

Rankings got slightly better in the playoff games in the 1990s. But front office unrest and Barkley's strained relationship with Jerry Colangelo led to his trade to Houston which also marked a new era in the franchise. The Suns drafted Steve Nash in 1996, but he initially played a supporting role behind Jason Kidd and Kevin Johnson. The team could only go far in qualifying for the playoffs.?

 

PlayerPositionInduction Year
Charles BarkleyForward2006
Gail GoodrichGuard1996
Connie HawkinsForward-Center1992
Grant HillForward2018
Dennis JohnsonGuard2010
Gus JohnsonForward-Center2010
Jason KiddGuard2018
Steve NashGuard20181
Shaquille O?NealCenter2016
Charlie ScottGuard-Forward2018
Paul WestphalGuard-Forward2019

 

The Suns had a fantastic 2004-05 season, finishing with the best record in the league and Nash winning the MVP award. In the 2005 playoffs, they made it to the Western Conference finals but lost to the Spurs. The team remained a strong contender. They had a 15-game win streak and a 17-game win streak during the 2006-07 season but again lost in the Conference finals.

In the next season, the franchise finished with a 55-27 record but was eliminated later in the first round.?

 

The Suns made the playoffs 10 times during former owner Robert Sarver's 18-year tenure. Ishbia brothers Mat and Justin purchased the majority stakes from Sarver in 2022. The deal is marked as the most expensive in NBA history, at $4 billion. Here is a breakdown of Ownership history, throughout the years.?

YearOwner(s)General Manager
1968-1972Richard Bloch and Karl EllerJerry Colangelo
1972-1988Karl EllerJerry Colangelo
1988-2004Jerry ColangeloJerry Colangelo
2004-2010Robert SarverSteve Kerr
2010-2012Robert SarverLance Blanks
2012-2018Robert SarverRyan McDonough
2018-2022Robert SarverJames Jones
2023-PresentMat IshbiaJames Jones

Top-paid players and 2023-24 roster

Phoenix's roster for the 2023-24 season has many new additions, like Bradley Beal and Jusuf Nurki?. The star-studded roster has the new big three in town and includes Booker, Durant, and Beal as three of the 500 players who are averaging at least 22 points per game.?

Kevin Durant is not just the highest-paid on the team but also the second-highest-paid this season. His annual salary is $47,649,433.?

Beal is the second richest in the team. He is receiving the max contract worth $251 million that he signed with the Wizards. He is expected to earn more than $150M in his next three seasons. For this season, his base salary is $46,741,590 per year.

Devin Booker signed a five-year, $158.25 million Supermax contract extension with the Suns in 2018. The contract began in the 2019-20 season, and Booker is currently in the fourth year of the deal. He is scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent in 2024.?

The newest addition, Nurkic, is a part of the multi-team deal that saw the departure of DeAndre Ayton to the Blazers. Nurkic is in his second-year max a-year extension worth over $70M. His average salary this year would be $17.5 million per year.

PlayerPositionAnnual SalaryContract Type
Bradley BealSG$50,203,9305 yr $251,019,650 MAX
Devin BookerSG$55,664,0004 yr $222,656,000 S-MAX
Kevin DurantSF$48,554,8304 yr $194,219,320 MAX
Jusuf NurkicC$17,500,0004 yr $70,000,000
Nassir LittleSF$7,000,0004 yr $28,000,000
Grayson AllenSG$9,350,0002 yr $18,700,000
Keon JohnsonSG$3,129,3234 yr $12,517,291
Eric GordonSG$3,276,3602 yr $6,552,719
Josh OkogieSG$2,886,3362 yr $5,772,671
Damion LeeSG$2,686,7882 yr $5,373,575
Keita Bates-DiopSF$2,500,6292 yr $5,001,258
Yuta WatanabeSF$2,500,6292 yr $5,001,258
Drew EubanksC$2,500,6292 yr $5,001,258
Jordan GoodwinPG$1,640,0803 yr $4,920,240
Ishmail WainrightSF$1,2013742 yr $2.402747
Chimezie MetuC$2.3466141 yr $2.346614
Bol Bol BolPF$2.1650001 year, $2.165000

 

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