The San Antonio Spurs don’t need to pay attention to Devin Booker rumors
The NBA rumor mill is insatiable. All it takes is one aggregated quote to be screen-capped and put on Twitter to start the latest hot take barrage. From never-ending ‘Giannis to the Warriors pieces’ to the constant desire to trade Bradley Beal away from Washington, seemingly every team in the NBA has a player or two constantly involved in the rumor mill. Except for perhaps the San Antonio Spurs.
The latest team and player to be caught up in the frenzy is Devin Booker and the Phoenix Suns. According to Ian Begley, Booker wasn’t happy when the Suns chose not to throw their hat in the ring and try to trade for his close friend, De’Angelo Russell. D-Lo would end up in Minneapolis with another good friend of Booker’s, Karl-Anthony Towns.
The reported unhappiness, along with the well known close friendship between the three young stars, was all it took to kick off a flurry of ‘Booker to the Wolves’ talk. Minnesota wasn’t the only team to be listed as ‘interested’. The Knicks also were connected thanks to the previous agent/client relationship between Booker and new Knicks president, Leon Rose.
San Antonio Spurs can ignore Devin Booker, for now
I get it, talking about trading superstars is fun. Firing up the Trade Machine and putting together a four-team masterpiece that moves every superstar to a new team and totally ruins another is a great use of a half-hour or more. But realistically, the Phoenix Suns have absolutely no reason to move Booker now, and they likely won’t.
NBA players have never had more control over their destinies than they do now. If Booker really wants to try to force his way out of Phoenix, he might be able to make that happen. But he’s also just finishing up the first year of a five-year deal that will keep him tied to the Suns until the summer of 2024. There’s never been a better time for Booker to use whatever leverage he’s got but he simply doesn’t have much leverage.
What’s he going to do, request a trade, and then sulk if he doesn’t get it? That’s a price the Suns should be more than willing to pay. Booker is one of the most talented young stars in the league, a bucket getter of the highest level, and a franchise cornerstone that Phoenix shouldn’t move on from unless they have absolutely no other options.
The Phoenix Suns have been, well, they’ve been pretty damn bad over the past few years. They’ve been picking in the top-ten of the draft every year since they selected Booker and look to be lottery-bound once again. You can’t blame Booker for being frustrated with the franchise.
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That said, they’ve also got a lot of time to figure things out before Booker is approaching unrestricted free agency. Their track record isn’t great but they’re not under the gun quite yet. But it’s coming.
The San Antonio Spurs don’t have to pay attention to the rumors around Devin Booker right now but in two or three years, if the Suns still haven’t gotten their house in order, the Spurs should be looking west for the superstar they need.
Looking two or three years down the road, the Spurs will have a much better idea of how the trio of Lonnie Walker, Dejounte Murray, and Derrick White can stack up against the other backcourt in the league. They’ll also have gotten a few more years of development out of Luka Samanic and Keldon Johnson. Of those five, they might have one or two All-Star level players, nailing down exactly who that is should be the main focus right now.
If the time comes where Booker is still in Phoenix but wants a trade, the Suns are still bottom feeders, and the Spurs have a defined star of their own, San Antonio’s front office should make the call. Booker is a supremely talented offensive player who would pair well with one of the Spurs defensively focused guards. It never hurts to ask what bringing him to the Alamo City would cost.
In all likelihood, the recent uptick in Booker trade rumors is just smoke and mirrors with a dash of boredom and need for content added in. The San Antonio Spurs can safely ignore all of the noise, for now. If it amounts to something substantial near the end of his contract they should absolutely be interested.