The Phoenix Suns had a really solid draft, taking DeAndre Ayton at No. 1 and trading with Philadelphia for Villanova’s Mikel Bridges at No. 10. They also got a steal in the second round with Elie Okobo.
Josh Jackson, the team’s fourth overall selection in 2017, made major strides to end the season. 2016 top-five pick Dragan Bender has shown flashes of potential. TJ Warren is a solid wing with rising production.
Add that together with future superstar Devin Booker, the Suns foundation is looking as solid as ever.
That is, until the organization waived Booker’s best friend and former Kentucky star, Tyler Ulis.
Now, things are apparently rocky within the organization.
Sources: As he becomes eligible for five-year maximum rookie extension, Phoenix Suns' Devin Booker is upset with the front office over release of best friend Tyler Ulis, who started 43 games last season.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) July 1, 2018
Ulis started 43 games for the Suns last season, including an impressive end-of-year run where he took the lead PG job from Elfrid Payton. The 22-year-old averaged 7.8 points and 4.4 assists on the season last year.
There have been no leaks of teams interested in Ulis as of yet, but his market is expected to be solid.
Ulis and Booker have been best friends since their time at Kentucky, and that has only grown in their time in the NBA. Booker was celebrating with Ulis and his family when he was drafted in the second round back in 2015, and now, they are almost always together off the court in Phoenix.
Needless to say, the move was a chemistry killer, and we’re already seeing the repercussions. So much that a $156 million extension is on the back burner in Booker’s eyes.
For a team with zero answer/future at point guard, cutting your star player’s best friend probably wasn’t a great idea. Especially when he was set to make just $1.5 million next season.