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NBA free agency 2022: Phoenix Suns to sign Devin Booker to supermax extension

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The Phoenix Suns will sign Devin Booker to a four-year, $224 million supermax extension that will keep the All-NBA guard under contract through the 2027-28 season, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic.

The extension will begin after the two years and $70 million Booker has remaining on his current deal.

There was some question as to whether Suns owner Robert Sarver, who remains under an NBA investigation into allegations of workplace misconduct and has rarely paid the luxury tax since purchasing the team in 2004, would invest more heavily into the roster, despite the organization's insistence he would.

Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker made the All-NBA first team and finished fourth in MVP voting this past season. (Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker made the All-NBA first team and finished fourth in MVP voting this past season. (Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

“It doesn’t preclude us from doing anything. We’re not talking about luxury tax issues or avoiding those things," general manager James Jones told reporters after a disappointing end to a 64-win season. "That’s not something that’s going to prevent us from continuing to build this team and keep this team together.”

The Suns respectively signed Chris Paul and Mikal Bridges to four-year deals worth $120 million and $90.9 million last summer, when they declined to offer DeAndre Ayton a maximum rookie scale extension. Ayton could now command more than $100 million in restricted free agency this summer, and Cameron Johnson is also eligible for a hefty extension on his rookie deal, putting the team's financial commitment to the test.

Booker is the best of the bunch, and signing him to so sizable an extension at least assures the Suns of stability at the top of the roster. The 25-year-old averaged 26.8 points (on 47/38/87 shooting splits), five rebounds and 4.8 assists in 34.5 minutes per game this past season, finishing fourth in the NBA MVP race.

After reaching the NBA Finals in 2021, the Suns won eight more games than any other team in the league this past season, cementing themselves as title favorites entering the playoffs. A second-round playoff exit was made more concerning by a listless 33-point loss to the Dallas Mavericks in Game 7 of the Western Conference semifinals. Booker scored 11 points on 14 shots in defeat, far worse than his 26-5-5 averages on 45/43/89 shooting splits over the past two postseasons — the only playoff appearances of his career.

Concerning for the Suns is how quickly the franchise could fold around him in the wake of that loss. Paul is 37 years old. Any cost-cutting that removes Ayton, Johnson or Jae Crowder from the equation could further strip Phoenix of its power, which is built more on the rotation's collective contributions than on one player.

"My position for a market like us with the tax is, if you get yourself where you can compete at the highest level, then you pay it and you go for it," Sarver told BasketballNews.com's Evan Sidery in May.

But what happens if the Suns dip, even slightly, below that highest level?

On one hand, paying Booker $60 million in the final year of his new contract seems like a no-brainer and an impressive investment into the best player on an elite team. On the other hand, the supermax extension represents a belief that Booker can either keep Phoenix in contention, regardless of the roster around him, or retain enough value not to become a bad deal down the line. We have six years to find out for certain.

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Ben Rohrbach is a staff writer for Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at rohrbach_ben@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @brohrbach

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