Ryan Russillo of The Ringer created a stir earlier this week by declaring during an episode of Bill Simmons’ podcast that Devin Booker’s desire to leave the Suns is “the worst-kept secret in the league.” However, that claim has been repeatedly refuted in recent days.
John Gambadoro of Arizona Sports 98.7, one of Phoenix’s most plugged-in reporters, emphatically shot down the idea that Booker wants out of Phoenix, calling it “100% not true” and adding that “not one time has he ever told anyone he wanted out” (Twitter link). For good measure, Gambadoro added, “Don’t listen to this garbage.”
Michael Scotto of HoopsHype conveyed a similar sentiment, citing a source who says there’s no truth to the idea that Booker wants out. Scotto also noted that multiple executives who have been in touch with the Suns say the star guard won’t be traded.
Elsewhere, Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic reported that the Timberwolves have been looking into Booker’s possible availability for months but have been given zero indication he’ll be available. And Zach Lowe of ESPN wrote this week that the Suns have shown no interest in moving Booker for either of the top two picks in this year’s draft.
The notion that Booker would have become dissatisfied with his situation in Phoenix this year doesn’t make a lot of sense. The Suns were one of the most impressive teams in the Walt Disney World bubble this summer, winning all eight of their seeding games and finishing the season with a .466 winning percentage — it was the first time in Booker’s career that number didn’t end up below .300.
On top of that, Booker still has four years remaining on the contract extension he signed in 2018. Even if he did want out of Phoenix, he wouldn’t be in a strong position to push for a trade.
“He has no leverage,” an Eastern Conference executive told Scotto. “He’s locked up for four more years. There is no way for him to demand a trade with that much time left on his contract.”
While the Timberwolves and other clubs will likely keep checking in with the Suns to see if anything changes, it sounds like a safe bet that Booker will remain in Phoenix for the foreseeable future.