Why the Suns might need Robert Sarver’s approval to complete a Jae Crowder trade

The era of Robert Sarver is almost over, but the phoenix suns they have not yet completely moved on. Although the NBA he suspended it in september and he is selling the team to Mat IshbiaSarver might still have to approve a potential Jae Crowder trade, according to ESPN’s Brian Windhorst.

ESPN’s Baxter Holmes previously reported that, during Sarver’s suspension, the WNBA’s Suns and Phoenix Mercury would require his written approval to hire or fire a chief executive officer, chief financial officer, or chief revenue officer. This was one of a series of provisions in a letter the NBA sent to the Suns. In an interview with him arizona republicby Duane Rankin In September, minority owner Sam Garvin, who has served as the team’s interim governor, said he has to contact Sarver about “super extraordinary items.”

“If we wanted to do a massive trade that would be for three max contracts and generate, say, $150 million in payroll beyond the $150 million we have,” then Sarver would have to approve it, Garvin said. Garvin said he would need to talk to Sarver if he wanted to, say, move the team to Flagstaff, “but the day-to-day stuff, the regular trades, the business decisions, all the business and basketball stuff, I’m the last word.” .

This is reportedly an understatement. It’s also relevant because of Crowder’s unresolved situation.

From ESPN:

Sarver has yet to give his personal approval on any deal for a player with a salary higher than the current “average player salary,” multiple league sources confirmed to ESPN. This would include any luxury tax payments, which the Suns are currently projected to pay.

The current median player salary is $10.8 million. Crowder’s salary is $10.2 million. And the Suns, according to sources, have had conversations about several multiplayer trades in recent months that would likely end up on Sarver’s desk.

Crowder, 32, has not played in a game this season. phoenix was supposedly close to changing it in novemberbut he is still on the payroll and away from the team. ESPN reported who asked for a trade last summer when he found out he might lose his starting job to Cameron Johnson, and Crowder cited “the business of basketball” in a cryptic denial to TNT’s Chris Haynes. According to Marc SteinCrowder asked the Suns for a contract extension this offseason, and they responded by telling him he might not start or close out games.

Phoenix started the season 15-6, but is now 20-18 and has lost six of its last seven games. The franchise would surely love to fast forward to the time when Devin Booker returns from his groin injuryJohnson is back from his knee injury, Crowder has been traded and Ishbia officially owns the team, but as far as I know she doesn’t have access to a time machine. And because of this trade provision and the timing of the sale, the crowder situation cannot be neatly separated from the ownership situation.

The NBA trade deadline is February 9. From ESPN:

The belief is that the league will ultimately sign off on the sale and send it to a vote among the owners. But even the fastest approvals for ownership transfers take 60 to 90 days, and Ishbia’s deal with Sarver came just before the holiday, while the league is also engaged in collective bargaining.

That means the team could still be in this limbo at the beginning of February. But if Ishbia approaches the finish line to gain control, his influence could be bigger than other voices of ownership.

None of this is to say that Sarver has necessarily stood in the way of a Crowder trade since the matchup began, and it’s unclear whether or not the soon-to-be former owner would block a trade between now and the deadline. However, he has the power to do it, and the trade doesn’t have to be some kind of blockbuster.

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