Devin Booker has earned the reputation as one of the game’s best young talents. Booker is the Phoenix Suns‘ driving force for their youthful core that had a strong showing in the Orlando Bubble. Despite that, the star guard could put the Suns in a significant bind this upcoming offseason.
Devin Booker’s continued rises to stardom
Since entering the league, Devin Booker has continued to play at a steady upward trajectory.
Booker has established himself as one of the game’s top young talents behind his scoring and progressively improving playmaking ability as a passer. The 24-year-old has seen his scoring rise in each of his first five seasons, which has moved him to 22.5 career points per game.
His production also helped him earn his first All-Star selection last year behind tying his career-high with 26.6 points per contest on a career-high 48.9% shooting from the floor with 6.5 assists. He has pushed his way into becoming the franchise leader in 30-point performances and holds the Suns’ single-game record with 70 points.
Booker also put together an impressive eight games stretch in the Orlando Bubble situation, finishing second for the Seeding Games MVP award behind Portland Trail Blazers All-Star guard Damian Lillard. He led the Suns to a perfect 8-0 record behind averaging 30.5 points, which included six 30-point outings.
Despite that significant push in the bubble games, Phoenix fell short of reaching the playoffs. The Suns may now have another problem on their hands concerning their star guard.
Devin Booker may want out of Phoenix
In Devin Booker’s first five seasons with the Phoenix Suns, the franchise has struggled to make headway into the playoff picture.
The Suns put forth a strong push toward postseason contention in the Orlando Bubble situation but once again fell short of that goal. All that led to The Ringer’s Ryen Russillo to voice Booker wanted out of Phoenix for quite some time. (H/T Adam Weels of Bleacher Report)
“Per Ryen Russillo on The Bill Simmons Podcast(starts at 68:00 mark), it’s “the worst kept secret” in the NBA that Booker wants to leave the Suns.”
Russillo isn’t the verified source on this rumor, but the conversation could have some legs to it. The puzzle pieces may be there as he sold his Arizona home last month for $3.45 million. Usually, a personal decision like that doesn’t hold much gravity in basketball-related matters, but it further adds to the trade speculation.
Combine with the Suns possibly considering trading talented forward Kelly Oubre to the Golden State Warriors; it may see a dramatic roster shift. There could be more to these rumors as Booker may want to play for a team that has been a playoff constant.
What that does do is open the door to trade chatter lingering throughout the offseason.
Suns could draw significant trade interest
If there is any credence to these rumors, it opens Pandora’s box for what could lie ahead with Devin Booker’s NBA future.
The Suns will likely first do what they can to convince Booker to stay with the franchise. If that isn’t feasible, there will be plenty of teams interested in adding a young elite offensive talent. Booker is in the second year of his five-year, $158.2 million deal that runs through the 2023-24 season. Counting this upcoming campaign, he has roughly $131 million left on his contract.
Phoenix could easily fetch substantial trade assets from another team that includes several draft picks and young talent. Early speculation could turn to the Minnesota Timberwolves, given his desire to play with D’Angelo Russell and Karl-Anthony Towns. The three stars voiced last year that they wanted to play with each other at some point in their respective careers.
The entire dialogue is all speculation at this point, but it’s certainly something to keep an eye on moving forward this offseason.