Is there a better way to rain on the Phoenix Suns Bubble parade than by suggesting that the franchise player get the hell out of town? If there is, I hope they televise it on national TV, as well.
During a segment on TNT’s Inside the NBA, Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green had some thoughts about rising superstar Devin Booker: someone needs to “get my man out of Phoenix.”
“Get my man out of Phoenix.” ?
Draymond wants D-Book to flourish somewhere else.
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) August 7, 2020
“It’s great to see Book playing well in Phoenix, but get my man out of Phoenix. It’s not good for him, it’s not good for his career… I need my man to go somewhere he can play great basketball all the time and win, because he’s that type of player.”
The timing of Green’s quote couldn’t be more awkward, considering the Suns are 4-0 down in the NBA’s Orlando restart and looking more and more like a potential playoff team with every passing game. At the forefront of the team’s success has been Booker, who is averaging 28 points, 3.8 rebounds, and 6.5 assists per outing on shooting splits of 47.4/40.0/90.3. He’s already drilled a game-winning shot over two of the world’s top defenders. To say he’s been one of the better players in the Bubble thus far would be a severe understatement.
But on the other hand, Green’s point shouldn’t be overlooked. A four-game sample size doesn’t necessarily mean anything has changed for the Suns. The only thing that has changed for Phoenix is they finally found some consistency within the roster to help complement Booker. The Suns haven’t made the playoffs since 2010 and have just five postseason appearances since Robert Sarver bought the team back in 2004.
In all honesty, it sounds like Green had this quote queued up and ready to go before the camera was even rolling. If he wanted to fire off a hot-take, he sure did a good job. When you take a step back and assess Phoenix’s situation, they’re actually one of the more under-the-radar franchises across the league. They’ve found the perfect guard to play alongside Booker in Ricky Rubio. Mikal Bridges is turning into an elite 3-and-D prospect at just 23 years old and Deandre Ayton has played (for the most part) like a top overall pick. Add in Kelly Oubre and Dario Saric and there is a legit core there to work around Booker with.
So while Green did provide us with a funny soundbite after Ernie Johnson asked him if he was tampering, to which Green responded with a “maybe”, now is probably not the time to question Booker and the Suns. While making the playoffs is still going to be a battle, there is at least some evidence that Booker with complementary pieces can thrive and succeed in Phoenix.
Booker signed a five-year, $158 million extension with the Suns back in 2018 that will run through the summer of 2024 when he’ll be an unrestricted free agent. So unless Phoenix decides to part ways with the only superstar they’ve had since Steve Nash, Booker is going to have to live with what he has–or demand a trade elsewhere. Hopefully, the Suns know how to keep him happy.