Though disgraced and suspended Phoenix Suns owner Robert Sarver is currently in the process of selling the team, he apparently maintains the ability to impact the Suns’ decision-making process as the NBA trade deadline approaches.
According to ESPN’s Brian Windhorst, Sarver can still impact the direction that the team goes in despite the fact that he is clearly on the way out.
“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,” Windhorst wrote. “This would include any luxury tax payments, which the Suns are currently projected to pay.”
This report pertains strongly to the case of veteran forward Jae Crowder. Crowder, who has been with the Suns since the 2020-21 campaign, hasn’t played this season as he waits to be traded.
“The current average player salary is $10.8 million,” Windhorst wrote. “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.”
Having to go through the mercurial and unpredictable owner likely makes the jobs of those in the Suns front office even more difficult. It’s going to be really interesting to see if the obstacle impacts the way the Suns approach things over the next month or so.
With that in mind, it is important to note that businessman Mat Ishbia has an agreement to buy the team and is preparing for a midseason takeover. However, the vetting process is not expected to be complete by the Feb. 9 trade deadline.
For that reason, the Suns and Crowder could remain in their current state of limbo for quite some time. What makes that element of the situation even tricker for Phoenix is the fact that the 32-year-old is a free agent in the offseason.
Though the Suns have had title aspirations in recent years, things haven’t been quite as promising so far this season. They’re currently the No. 8 seed in the Western Conference with a record of 20-18. They’ve lost three straight games.