Devin Booker was upset with the Suns for waiving Tyler Ulis without first telling the franchise player.
Want a glimpse of their bond?
Watch this 2017 video, recently published by TMZ:
We’re told Tyler was trying to hold the elevator for his friends when another group of guys tried to get on.
When Tyler continued to hold it … they took offense and a scuffle broke out.
A short time later, Ulis’ friends — including Suns superstar Booker — took the elevator to the scene of the fight and found the men who attacked Ulis. Another fight broke out, Ulis threw punches.
Booker — who covered his face with a bandana — does not appear to hit anyone.
The Suns say they are looking into the incident.
A source close to the Suns administration tells us, “While these guys know they are always potential targets for others trying to cause trouble, it’s hard to blame them for defending their friend who is on the bad end of a 4 on 1 attack.”
It sounds as if the Suns have already made up their mind and are saying they’re looking into the incident because that’s what they’re supposed to say.
Ulis – who was at the heart of the fight – is already gone. Booker, who signed a max extension this month, was involved but not much more than that.
The Suns should investigate further to better understand the situation, but based on that video and report, it’s hard to see anything for the team to do at this point.
The No. 1 pick in the 2015 NBA Draft, Karl-Anthony Towns, is in talks to get a max contract extension with the Timberwolves. The No. 4 pick in that draft, Kristaps Porzingis, will get a max one as well. Devin Booker, who was taking 13th, just got one from the Suns.
And then there’s the No. 2 pick, D'Angelo Russell. Drafted by the Lakers but shipped to Brooklyn as the sweetener in the Timofey Mozgov salary dump (the Lakers had drafted Lonzo Ball and were moving on), he is coming off some nice-but-not-thrilling NBA seasons and a knee surgery. That’s not going to get him an extension in the range he wants.
The two sides are not even talking, according to Michael Scotto at The Athletic.
Brooklyn and Russell’s camp have not discussed an extension yet a league source told The Athletic. The 22-year-old guard is owed $7.02 million this upcoming season and is eligible for a $9.16 million qualifying offer and restricted free agency next summer if he doesn’t agree to a rookie scale extension before the start of the regular season in October.
Russell, who attended the Nets’ NBA Summer League games, burst out of the gate on a tear last season averaging 20.9 points on 46 percent shooting, 5.7 assists, and 4.7 rebounds per game in his first 12 games played before undergoing arthroscopic left knee surgery.
The Nets like Russell, but this is the correct play — make him earn a big contract next season. Brooklyn will have him as a restricted free agent, let the market set the price.
Russell is playing for his contract next season — whether he does that within the system or breaks out of it to rack up numbers will be something to watch.
Devin Booker is one of the cornerstones the Phoenix Suns are rebuilding around — and when it comes time, smart teams pay their cornerstones to keep them.
The Phoenix Suns and Booker have agreed to do that — he is signing the max extension that everyone knew would be offered this summer.
The Suns see him and No. 1 draft pick Deandre Ayton as the future pillars of the organization, with Josh Jackson and Mikal Bridges playing key roles. The Suns are investing in that future.
Booker, still 21, is a guy who can get buckets — he averaged 24.9 points per game last season, with a slightly above average 56.1 true shooting percentage and hitting 38.3 percent from three. He was slowed some last season by a series of injuries (hip, hand and others), but we know he has the off
But to live up to this max contract, Booker needs to become a better and more focused defender, plus do more as a playmaker. He’s taken steps forward as a playmaker, but he still needs a strong point guard next to him to fully take advantage of his skills. Defense has to become a bigger focus of his game.
That said, this was a no-brainer for the Suns. They had to max him out and keep him.
We got word out of Phoenix last week that star Devin Booker wasn’t too excited about the Suns passing on keeping friend Tyler Ulis on the roster. Then again, we knew that there was no way that Booker was going to let personal preferences alter his decision when it came to signing a five-year maximum deal with the team that drafted him.
Now it appears Booker and the Phoenix Suns are getting closer on a deal which will reportedly be ready when the free agent moratorium ends on July 6th.
According to ESPN, Booker and the Suns are working on a five-year, $158 million contract extension that could come this week.
Since its inception, no player has refused a max deal coming off their rookie contract with their current team. Booker obviously was not going to be an exception to that even after the Suns decided to get rid of longtime friend Ulis.
As they stand now, Phoenix has a salary figure of around $84 million including Booker’s current deal. Signing Booker this offseason will raise that cap figure by about $24 million by itself, which will put Phoenix over the line but under the luxury.
The Suns will also be out from under the contracts of Tyson Chandler and Jared Dudley after next season, so they will still have some cap space to spare. It also seems unlikely that the Suns are done dealing this offseason as they try to grow along with 2018 No. 1 overall pick Deandre Ayton.
Signing Booker is a no-brainer for Phoenix, and the real interest will be in Ayton’s development and what moves the Suns can make moving forward.
NBA free agency has already been pretty weird and it’s only July 1st. Things have wavered when it comes to LeBron James heading to the Los Angeles Lakers, the Philadelphia 76ers are pursuing Kawhi Leonard, and now it appears that one young star isn’t too happy with his front office after a recent roster move.
Phoenix Suns star guard Devin Booker reportedly is upset with team brass after Phoenix waived guard Tyler Ulis.
Ulis and Booker are very good friends (the two played together at Kentucky and have known each other for a while) and while Phoenix makes way for salary cap absorption they didn’t see space for the former Wildcats point guard.
If history tells us anything in the NBA, it’s that players playing favorites toward guys they like isn’t a viable way to make your team better. Just look at just about every roster LeBron James has played on. Putting undue influence on a team to keep a player you are friendly with regardless of skill-set or roster contact is a bad look.
Booker sort of has the Suns over a barrel, especially given how well he has played and is projected to grow over the next couple of years. Phoenix has had a hard time signing or trading for a big star, something it seems they are always rumored to be in the works for. In the meantime, the Suns have a lot of dead weight along with Booker and Deandre Ayton, the No. 1 overall pick in 2018.
Then again, Booker isn’t necessarily good enough to make a demand that a friend be kept on the roster. Few NBA players actually are. For now this seems like NBA drama being aired openly, potentially to gain leverage later. There’s no worry that Booker will turn down any kind of max deal from Phoenix this early in his career. At least, not yet.