Although Phoenix Suns wing and NBA All-Star star Devin Booker may be having his best season as a pro — averaging 26 points, seven assists and four rebounds per game while posting an effective field goal percentage of 54.3 — his team continues to struggle through a rebuild. Some believe the losing in Phoenix could motivate Booker to push for a trade and, according to Marc Berman of the New York Post, the New York Knicks could be a preferred landing spot.
In response to a reader mailbag question on Saturday, Berman called Booker “the player to watch out for most” on the trade market, citing his connection to Knicks president Leon Rose, who was formerly Booker’s agent.
According to Berman, Booker could grow weary of playing for the Suns, who are owned by the notoriously cap-conscious Robert Sarver and haven’t enjoyed a winning season since the Jeff Hornacek-directed 2013-14 campaign. Phoenix hasn’t qualified for postseason play in more than a decade, either.
Although the Suns’ current roster features a slew of talented, young players like Booker, former No. 1 over pick Deandre Ayton, Kelly Oubre, Mikal Bridges and others, they have a long way to go before they’ll be able to challenge the elite competition in the Western Conference. And while the Knicks have also struggled in recent years, Rose is seemingly motivated to turn things around.
Per Berman, Rose said that he’s willing to explore a variety of avenues to improve the team’s woeful offense, including “the draft, trades and free agency.” Few players in the Association are as gifted offensively as Booker, who once scored 70 points during a 2017 game against the Boston Celtics (which the Suns still managed to lose).
For his part, Booker has praised the Knicks’ move to put Rose in charge of their basketball operations.
“I think he’ll do unbelievable,” he said. “One of the most genuine guys I know. One of the most honest guys I know. So I’m happy for him in his new position. I think the Knicks are in really good hands.”
Berman also mentioned Minnesota Timberwolves big man Karl-Anthony Towns, another former Rose client, as a possible trade target for New York. However, former Wolves coach Tom Thibodeau is widely considered to be the favorite to win the Knicks’ open head coaching job, and Berman believes that his history with Towns would preclude the former All-Star from being open to the pairing.
Portland Trail Blazers star Damian Lillard was also mentioned as a big-name player the Knicks could make a move for. As shared by The Inquisitr over the weekend, New York is believed to be one of Lillard’s preferred destinations in the event that he leaves the Blazers.