After a career-best regular season, the Phoenix Suns have resigned guard Grayson Allen to a new four-year $70 million contract. Allen averaged 13.5 points, 3.9 rebounds and three assists a game this year on a league-high 46.1% three-point shooting. The extension comes only days before the start of the 2024 NBA Playoffs.

Allen began his career at Duke, where he followed in the footsteps of Christian Laettner and JJ Redick as one of the most well-known but most hated players in the country. The Utah Jazz took him with the 21st pick in the 2018 Draft, but he only played 38 games with the team before being traded to the Memphis Grizzlies. Allen played two years in Memphis, averaging 9.6 points, 2.6 rebounds, and 1.8 assists in 88 regular-season games in the 2019-20 and 20-21 seasons.

Allen then joined the Bucks, who had just come off a championship-winning season, where he played for two more years with similar averages as in Memphis. Over the latest offseason, Milwaukee traded for Damian Lillard, which saw Allen be moved to Phoenix, where he has put up career numbers leading to the extension.

Allen was set to be an unrestricted free agent going into the summer. Still, he was interested in returning to the Suns’ team, which featured Kevin Durant, Devin Booker, and Bradley Beal. With the signing, Phoenix will now be heavily in the luxury tax, which could lead to the highest payroll in the league next year. Durant, Booker and Beal are all set to make $50 million in 2024-25, and with Allen’s extension and filling out the rest of their roster, Suns owner Mat Ishbia will be expected to pay at least $104 million in luxury tax.

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Phoenix is currently on pace to exceed the league’s “second apron” of the luxury tax by $16 million next year. If that remains the case, they would lose the ability to send cash in trade deals and use trade exceptions, and their 2032 first-round pick would be frozen and unable to be traded.

They have their stars locked down, but even spending $70 million on a role player like Allen could prove fatal if the Suns don’t see playoff success in the next few years. Though seen in a limited position for most of his career, Allen was the only player besides Stephen Curry to make at least eight three-pointers in seven games this year. His 205 made three-pointers were also tied for the second-most in franchise history, behind only Quinten Richardson‘s 2005 mark of 226.

For now, the Suns enter the first round as a No. 6 seed playing against the No. 3 seed Minnesota Timberwolves, where they will desperately need Allen’s three-point shooting. As built now, Phoenix is a very top-heavy team, but to win multiple rounds in the playoffs, they will need players like Allen to step up and show why he deserves his new contract.

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