The Phoenix Suns have failed to make the playoffs during each season of Devin Booker’s career. To make matters worse, they elected to not even pursue his talented NBA best friend, D’Angelo Russell, when he was available.
Instead of going after Russell, the Suns tried to sign Terry Rozier initially but came away from free agency with Ricky Rubio. Meanwhile, Russell executed a sign-and-trade deal that sent him to the Golden State Warriors after the Brooklyn Nets signed Kevin Durant.
According to Ian Begley of SNY, Booker ‘wasn’t happy’ with the Suns when the news came out about their intent to not pursue Russell.
Something else that’s worth noting about Booker and the Suns: last summer, the Arizona Republic reported that the Suns chose not to pursue D’Angelo Russell, Booker’s close friend, in free agency because the club “apparently felt Russell wouldn’t have been a good influence on Booker off the court.”
Booker, per league sources, wasn’t happy with the organization at the time of the report. The Arizona Republic noted that Booker had campaigned for club to sign Russell, who was a restricted free agent. The Suns instead pursued Terry Rozier and ended up signing Ricky Rubio.
There doesn’t appear to be a clear pathway to success for Booker with the Suns. They play in a loaded Western Conference that has only gotten stronger with Luka Doncic, Zion Williamson, and Ja Morant led teams with better supporting casts on the rise.
For Devin Booker to reach the playoffs, the Phoenix Suns undoubtedly will need to make a splash to land another high-level talent. If not, seeking a trade to get to a more talented team in the Western Conference would be best, or just simply to the other conference altogether.