Phoenix Suns majority owner Mat Ishbia acted like he didn't know about the NBA's new second-apron measure in the Collective Bargaining Agreement.

“What is that?” he joked following the Suns' announcement of the 2027 NBA All-Star Game.

Ishbia has made it clear in his year-plus as majority owner that winning is the priority. He backed it up with Phoenix's four-year, $70 million extension of the NBA leader in 3-point percentage, Grayson Allen, according to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski.

Phoenix Suns
Credit: Joe Camporeale – USA TODAY Sports 

Suns' grade for Allen extension: A-

The Suns are in a spending fiasco. According to Wojnarowski, Allen's extension makes the team's projected payroll for 2024-25 $206 million with an additional $104 million in luxury tax. That will be the highest bill in the NBA.

The Suns are now on the books for $16 million over the second apron, which means they cannot send cash out in deals, aggregate contracts or use a pre-existing trade exception. If they finish next year over the second apron, their 2032 first-round pick will not be available to use via trade.

Allen has exceeded expectations for the Suns, who are a team centered around superstars Devin Booker and Kevin Durant and three-time All-Star Bradley Beal. Phoenix is looking to win its first-ever championship with aggressive moves from Ishbia, who traded the future of the team to acquire Durant and Beal in the last 14 months.

Next to those players, Allen has led the NBA in 3-point percentage (46.1) and averaged a career-best 13.5 points. Allen in Phoenix's last two games of the regular season averaged 19.5 points on a combined 7-of-11 clip from 3-point range, helping the Suns secure the No. 6 seed in the West.

Phoenix is down pieces of the future. It needs to win a championship with Durant in order for its financial investment to be a victory. But with Allen under the books, the Suns have a core player together with those three that it will not have to address in the offseason.

“The way I look at it is this: we're trying to win,” Ishbia said. “Obviously, I know you're talking about Grayson and (backup forward) Royce (O'Neale) and we have other free agents as well. But the way we're looking at it, we're trying to win a championship. We're going to try this year, and we're going to try and figure out how to do it next year and sign free agents is what it's going to take.”

The Suns had Allen's bird rights and also have them for O'Neale, which incentivizes those players to negotiate with their team.

Retaining Allen is just as important as the Big 3. Forwards Keita Bates-Diop and Yuta Watanabe were expected to be key shooters for the Suns, but Allen took the spotlight and ran with it.