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Grayson Allen explains why he ‘wanted’ to be in Phoenix

Grayson Allen made the decision to sign a four-year, $70 million contract extension with the Phoenix Suns yesterday, despite the fact he likely could have commanded more money in free agency.

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“I knew I wanted to be here,” Allen said. “That kind of outweighed the fact of trying to wonder what’s out there.”

He credited Suns’ owner Mat Ishbia, general manager James Jones and CEO Josh Bartelstein for giving him an offer that he felt was “worth it.”

“I’m not gonna wonder in a year like, ‘Man what was free agency like?’ I’m very happy that I’m here and gonna be a part of this team a little longer.”

The Suns acquired the 28-year-old Allen from the Milwaukee Bucks on Sept. 27 in the Deandre Ayton/Damian Lillard trade. Allen finished the regular season averaging 13.5 points on 50/46/88 splits, 3.9 rebounds, 3.0 assists, 0.9 steals and 0.6 blocks in 33.5 minutes per game across 75 contests (74 starts), which means he tied or set a career high in literally every major statistical category. He also led the NBA in 3-point shooting percentage at 46.1%.

“I’m very appreciative. I feel very, very blessed,” Allen said. “I’ve been traded three times now to end up here, and each time it feels like something good came out of it. Now that I’m here in Phoenix in a great city, in a great organization, I’m very grateful that, first of all, they wanted me and traded for me, and that they believed in me all year to put me out there on the floor. Now (there’s) a dollar number in that belief. I’m just very grateful for them.”

Several reports, including one from Arizona Sports’ John Gambadoro suggest just how much Allen could have made in free agency.

Allen, who is on his fourth NBA team in six seasons, had only made just north of $28 million for his whole career before this extension, which ties him to Phoenix until the 2027-28 season.

“I probably haven’t fully processed (the amount) yet,” Allen said. “Probably won’t until the offseason or maybe till next season when it kicks in. But I do feel immensely grateful and blessed to be in this position, where I get to be a part of a great organization and a great city and to have that kind of money is unreal.”

The Financial Impact for the Suns

ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reports the “deal will cost the Suns $79 million in payroll and tax — running Ishbia’s projected 2024-25 payroll to $206 million with an additional $104 million in luxury tax. That will be the highest in the league.” (Via ESPN)

Jones said that this only shows exactly what Ishbia is about for the team.

“It’s real money,” Jones said. “It’s not taken lightly, but I don’t know how many times Mat has to say it, how many times he has to do it before people realize that he’s serious about doing what it takes to win. It makes it a joy to work here and to be here. And for the guys to play here. Because they know when it comes down to it, we’re gonna do what it takes to win.”

Jones explained why they valued Allen to offer him this extension.

“He said it before, he wants to be here,” Jones said. “We want him here. It’s a perfect match. What we’re about, what he’s about, we want to win at everything. And Grayson said that not only do I want to win, I want to win here in Phoenix and I’ll show you: I’ll take less to come here and be a part of something special and to compete for a championship. And those are the types of players that you bet on every time.”

Frank Vogel took it a step further on what Phoenix could turn into with players like Allen wanting to be in Phoenix.

“That’s what Mat Ishbia is building here,” Vogel said. “We want to be the gold standard of the NBA. a destination city, a destination franchise. Obviously Phoenix is a great area because of the weather … but we want to be the franchise from ownership on down that people want to be a part of, and Grayson wanting to be back speaks of that.”

The Suns had Allen’s bird rights and a deadline for the extension that lasted from March 27 until June 30, the final day before free agency. They could have given the 28-year-old an extension up to four years, $75 million. 

Now, he puts ink to the extension right before the No. 6 Suns play the No. 3 Timberwolves beginning on Saturday at 12:30 p.m. MST.

“Very honored and blessed,” Allen said. “I’m very appreciative to be here in Phoenix. Very thankful for Mat, Josh and James believing in me and offering me the extension to be here. Very happy we got it done, I believe in everything we’re doing here, so very happy we’re gonna be a Phoenix for a little longer.”

Suns to have highest tax bill in the NBA after Grayson Allen extension

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Brendan Mau is a senior writer covering the Phoenix Suns and more for Burn City Sports. You can follow him on X via @Brendan_Mau

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