It’s a new era now, All-Stars don’t stick around for long with a franchise if teams don’t make moves to keep the player satisfied. We saw how quick the Hawks acted once rumors got out
about Trae Young wanting some help, they added Clint Capela,Jeff Teague, and Dewayne Dedmon. Karl Anthony-Towns’s name came up and Gersson Rosas immediately let the NBA World know they are focused on building around Karl and went and got him one of his best friends D’Angelo Russell at the trade deadline. When I look at the Suns from the firings of Ryan McDonough to the firings of Jeff Hornacek,Earl Watson,Jay Tiriano,and Igor Kokoskov as coaches the Suns have struggled to get back to relevancy. Josh Jackson and Dragan Bender were Draft failures, the jury is still out on Deandre Ayton and considering they skipped on Luka Doncic maybe Ayton never does enough to prove himself better than Luka. Devin Booker was a home run but he has not been able to uplift the Suns.
I saw Steve Nash win 2 MVP’s and bring back Suns Basketball, Suns fans had not a Playoff Contender since the days of Kevin Johnson,Dan Majerle, and Charles Barkley. Steve Nash and Amare Stoudemire proved to be one of the most dominant 1-2 combos during the 2000’s and came close to reaching the Finals 2007. Now on to the Devin Booker Era, for me drafting Deandre Ayton meant the Suns foreseeing a 1-2 combo between Devin Booker and Deandre Ayton that could compete in the Western Conference over this next decade but I am starting to believe maybe this experiment won’t last long. The Phoenix Suns brought in Monty Williams to give the roster an identity but the peaces they have around Devin Booker and Deandre Ayton are not enough to be taken seriously, sorry Kelly Oubre Jr and Ricky Rubio. As the Trade Deadline approached I wanted the Suns to trade for Kevin Love who I believed would have been perfect as a 3rd option behind Booker and Ayton, but the Suns stood pat. Devin Booker took Damian Lillard’s spot in the All-Star Game but in my opinion he should’ve refused, he was frustrated about not getting selected when realistically he should be frustrated the Suns are where they currently are.
The Suns once again lost last night to the Los Angeles Clippers, Devin Booker shot 5 of 19 from the field and only made 1 of 8 3 point attempts logging only 14 points. The rest of the team was horrible aside from Deandre Ayton who chipped in with 25 points and 17 rebounds,Saric and Bridges are making me think they’ll never become stars in the NBA and this roster pretty much sucks. So who do you blame? Well let’s face reality, Devin Booker is not a Superstar and I heard talk about Devin Booker being better than Damian Lillard by the time he is 27? I’m starting to think that won’t be the case, Damian Lillard has had Portland in the Playoffs pretty much his whole tenure there, Devin Booker has took the Suns to the Playoffs a whopping 0 times. So the Phoenix Suns gave him a 5-year $158 million dollar extension last summer and he just sold his Mansion in Arizona and some would not make much of it but I sure do. Connect the dots, more than likely the Phoenix Suns miss the Playoffs once again and add on an additional West Team in the Warriors into the Playoff Mix next year with Steph Curry and Klay Thompson returning.
The West will be even tougher next season and I see the window closing for Devin Booker in Phoenix, Trae Young and Karl Anthony-Towns are 2 of the NBA’s youngest stars but I feel safe saying they’ll be on their respective teams over the next 3 years at least but I don’t see Devin Booker sticking around long in Phoenix or considering re-signing with the Franchise when the time comes around for a new extension.Yes I have heard the Devin Booker to Minnesota rumors and him pairing up with Karl and D’Angelo to form a dynamic Big 3 which could vault the Timberwolves into possible title contention but what does Minnesota have to offer to Phoenix that would interest Minnesota? They do have some young wings like Jarrett Culver and Josh Okogie which might interest Phoenix but what type of team would Phoenix want to build around Deandre Ayton? It hurts the NBA to see young stars like Devin Booker become All-Stars and leave for big markets but that is just the way in the NBA these days. If I could get Ben Simmons from Philadelphia I would be on the phone right now with Elton Brand, the Sixers want a shot creator like Devin Booker to take pressure off Joel Embiid and he would be the perfect complimentary piece.
Ben Simmons could become the clear cut face of the Phoenix Suns and not have to battle for that crown with Joel Embiid any longer in Philly, with his all-around skill-set I have no doubts he would do a better job of carrying the Phoenix Suns since he can help the team out on defense,rebounding,play-making and running the offense. As for Devin Booker? Well he is likely not the face of the Sixers with Joel Embiid around but at least he will be sure to make the Playoffs and make more All-Star teams since the East could use more talent.If Deandre Ayton was Shaquille O’Neal I am sure Devin Booker will gladly suit up for the Suns over the next decade but does Ayton have the will to be great? I see the numbers but I don’t see the impact from Ayton, same for Devin Booker, he can fill it up in a hurry and get you 40-50 any given night but if it is not translating to wins what is the point? Sorry Monty Williams if you believe you have the new Kobe and Shaq on your hands with Devin Booker and Deandre Ayton you will be highly disappointed.
That is no knock on Booker and Ayton but I saw Kobe and Shaq run off 3 straight Titles and make the New Jersey Nets look like they belonged in the NCAA the 2002 Finals. All year I heard it from my buddy who was a huge Jason Kidd fan as Kidd anchored the Nets to 2 consecutive NBA Finals, I really thought the Nets were going to upset the Lakers but I underestimated the greatness of Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal. Those two were great players, Devin Booker and Deandre Ayton are not great they are good players, in other words All-Stars but not Superstars. I’d bet my life savings Devin Booker never reaches the level of a Kobe Bryant, same with Deandre Ayton ever becoming the level a player Shaquille O’Neal was so with that said time to move on. Devin Booker was never a Top 5 Pick so I guess you could say he has overachieved so far in his career but the Suns won’t be competing for much but first-round exits over the coarse of his contract and see him bolt elsewhere if they don’t move him now while he is healthy and at peak value.
To conclude the NBA has become more Business oriented than ever, coaches and players are moved more often compared to the old days when we saw Jerry Sloan almost coach the Jazz for 2 decades and never envisioned Kobe Bryant,Dirk Nowitzki, and Tim Duncan in another uniform. Signing a 4-5 year deal means nothing these days, I saw Blake Griffin get traded away after signing a 5-year $143 million dollar extension with the Los Angles Clippers, in my head I really thought the Clippers were going to build around Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan for an additional 4-5 years even after trading away Chris Paul but I was wrong, Blake Griffin was traded mid-season to the Detroit Pistons the same season after signing the extension. If Devin Booker pouts over the Summer and asks out what do the Suns do? What can they do to make Devin Booker play out another 3-4 years in a Suns uniform? They don’t have much leverage, time to move on Phoenix.