http://www.brightsideofthesun.com/2015/8/19/9161475/phoenix-suns-spending-like-playoffs-teams-spend-for-first-time-in?_ga=1.187276203.203146599.1440130738The Phoenix Suns are spending more money this year than they have since the heyday of the SSOL Suns, all thanks to recent extensions given to players aging out of their rookie contracts and last month's big free agent signing of Tyson Chandler.
Coming into the season, the Suns rank 17th in overall spending among NBA teams. Chandler, Bledsoe and Knight are now among the Top 50 paid players in the NBA this season, though Bledsoe and Knight tie for just 42nd and Chandler comes in at 49th.
All together, 28 of the 30 NBA teams have at least 1 player making a Top-50 salary, so Phoenix having someone in there is no great shakes.
26 of 30 teams have at least one player making more than any Phoenix Suns player will make this year.
Seven other teams have at least three players making Top-50 money (Cavaliers, Heat, Clippers, Thunder, Bulls, Spurs, Warriors). All but the Suns and Heat made the playoffs last year, and the Heat are predicted to be a top East contender this year.
Money does not equal wins
For certain, just because you spend money on players doesn't mean you win more games. Several big spenders won't make the playoffs this year.
Just ask the Brooklyn Nets, who are still a big-spending team even after buying out Deron Williams. They will be lucky to win 35 games despite being the 9th biggest spender on salaries. The Pistons and Knicks are outspending the Suns but almost certainly won't make the playoffs, even in the lowly East. In the West, the Lakers have two top-50 salaries, Kobe Bryant and Roy Hibbert, and are spending just $2 million less than the Suns but likely will be fighting to keep their high lotto pick (Top 3).
Last year, the Knicks spent the 4th MOST money last year on salaries, but finished as the league's 2nd worst. The Kings spent the 11th most money, but finished as the league's 6th worst.
On the other end, the Bucks spent the LEAST money on player salaries, yet made the playoffs. The Hawks spent the 5th least amount of money and Celtics 8th least, yet those teams made the playoffs too. They were able to squeak in thanks an awful conference made even worse by terrible injuries (Heat, Pacers).
But most of the time it does
But aside from the Knicks and Kings last year, every team that spent top-17 money was playoff caliber. They either made the playoffs or missed it primarily because they suffered catastrophic injuries (Heat/Bosh/Wade, Pacers/George, Thunder/Westbrook/Durant).
That's 15 of the top 17 spenders being playoff caliber, with just the Bulls (20th) and Hawks (26th) making the playoffs without spending like it. The Suns haven't been a Top-20 spender in several years.
I'm not saying the Suns will make the playoffs. Certainly, some think the Suns are on the outside looking in.
The Suns could lose a ton of games next year that has nothing to do with player salaries, and I'm not trying to imply otherwise. I'm just saying they are at least spending like it, and it's not because they are spending stupid money. All the contracts are market rate or below.
Let's break down the Suns roster, and compare their spending to other NBA teams. I've used one of my favorite sites - spotrac.com - for all this information, including team rankings by position.