After unprecedented spending during the summer of 2016, and the salary cap coming in at a lower than expected $99M, there have been some free agents left in the lurch this offseason. Brandon Jennings and Ty Lawson, for example, are heading to China next season, while vets such as Brandon Bass, Monta Ellis and Gerald Green remain unsigned.
Barring an unforeseen change of events, Phoenix Suns center Alex Len is planning to sign the team's $4.2 million qualifying offer before training camp, clearing the way to become an unrestricted free agent in 2018, league sources told ESPN.
Len, a skilled 7-footer, investigated offer sheets and sign-and-trade proposals, but none made sense with the possibility of free agency next summer. The Suns are preserving salary cap space in 2018 without signing him to an extension now, but do risk losing Len for no compensation.
This is a move that makes sense for both parties. Len gets to stick around in Phoenix for one more season with a chance to prove himself and get the type of contract he desires next summer as an unrestricted free agent. And as for the Suns, they get another look at a young big man with potential for very little cost.