The Suns have gone 23-59, 24-58 and 19-59 in Devin Booker‘s three seasons. Despite all the high draft picks generated by those lousy records, Phoenix hasn’t added anyone else more likely than not to become a star. (Josh Jackson, Dragan Bender and Marquese Chriss have a chance, but the early returns have ranged from mixed to disappointing.) The Suns have also fired two coaches in this time.
If Phoenix offers Booker a max contract extension – which projects to be worth $146 million over five years – this summer, will he sign it?
Scott Bordow of azcentral in October:
Booker, who recently said one of the reasons he admires Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant is that they played their entire career with one team – with the exception of Jordan’s two-year stint with Washington – said he would love to sign an extension if offered next summer.
“I’ve been treated right from the day I was drafted, even when I was a rookie and didn’t play much,” he said. “The city of Phoenix took me in with open arms and made me a part of their family. I’ve learned the history and traditions of the team. I know how much the city cares about the franchise and that means a lot to me, playing somewhere where people actually care about the franchise.
“I love it here, I bought a house here and I intend to be here for a long time.”
Asked if anything – or everything – that has happened this season has changed his mind, he chuckled and said: “I mean, that’s a whole other discussion. A lot goes into that. When that time comes I’ll have to make a decision.”
But then he added, “I’ve always said this is the place I want to be so if everything works out, yeah.”
Here’s betting a max extension would be enough to make everything work out. That’s too much money for Booker to pass up, especially because Booker will have earned just $9,985,165 on his four-year rookie-scale contract and unilaterally leaving Phoenix would require him to spend the following year on his qualifying offer ($4,583,767 or, in the more likely event he meets the starter criteria, $4,915,726).
That’s just not enough earnings yet to justify passing on $145 million.
Booker is fed up with losing, but he also said the entire Suns organization is on the same page. He’s looking in the mirror for solutions, too.
That attitude – and his immense talent – are why Phoenix will probably offer him a max contract extension. And he’ll probably sign it.