1:25pm: Booker wasn’t upset with the Suns’ front office over the fact that Ulis was waived, but the “lack of communication” regarding the move upset him, a source tells Jordan Schultz of Yahoo Sports (Twitter links).
12:22pm: The Suns waived guard Tyler Ulis on Saturday before his salary for 2018/19 could become guaranteed, and the move isn’t sitting well with one noteworthy Sun. According to Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports (via Twitter), Devin Booker is upset with Phoenix’s front office over the release of Ulis, his best friend.
Booker, who is entering his fourth NBA season, is now eligible for a contract extension for the first time in his career. He and the Suns could come to an agreement anytime between now and the start of the 2018/19 regular season, and a new deal would keep Booker off the restricted free agent market in 2019.
It remains to be seen whether Booker’s unhappiness with the front office will have any real impact on those contract negotiations. While it probably isn’t a great time for the franchise to upset its star scorer, players eligible for rookie scale extensions generally don’t turn down maximum-salary offers, as Scott Bordow of The Arizona Republic observes (via Twitter). And Phoenix is expected to put that sort of offer on the table.
It would be a surprise if Ulis’ release creates an irreparable rift in the relationship between Booker and the Suns, but it’s still something worth watching as the club looks to lock up the 21-year-old to a long-term deal.