Amid recent rumors suggesting that Phoenix Suns shooting guard Devin Booker could be targeted by the New York Knicks during the 2020 offseason, a new report took a look at the chances of the move taking place — also citing a team executive who suggested that it’s laughable to think the Knicks are making such plans ahead of the 2020-21 NBA season.
As noted on Tuesday by Ian Begley of SportsNet New York, the unnamed opposing executive briefly spoke to him regarding the Booker-to-Knicks rumors, responding succinctly with the acronym “LOL.” According to Begley, the reaction was understandable considering Booker is still under contract with the Suns for the next four seasons, thus presumably giving him little leverage to request a trade. This, as he explained, would apply even if it is true that the All-Star guard wants to be traded.
Talking about what type of offer New York will have to make in order to acquire Booker, Begley wrote that the Knicks might have to surrender a “significant” number of future first-round picks and maybe even part ways with a young core player like R.J. Barrett or Mitchell Robinson. He stressed that giving up all those assets might be the only way at this point for such a transaction to work out for both sides.
“If New York wanted to wait for Booker to get closer to the end of his deal, Phoenix would lose some leverage. But it’s foolish to operate on the assumption that Phoenix is willing to move Booker for anything less than a monumental trade package at the moment.”
Begley’s comments on the Booker trade rumors come a few days after the New York Post‘s Marc Berman described the 23-year-old as the “player to watch out for most” in the coming offseason. Aside from noting that Booker was once a client of recently hired Knicks president Leon Rose during his time as an agent, Berman also quoted previous remarks from the former University of Kentucky star where he described Rose in a positive light, calling him one of the “most genuine guys I know.”
Currently, it’s unclear whether Booker — who is averaging 26.1 points, 4.2 rebounds, and 6.6 assists for the Suns, per Basketball-Reference — is actually unhappy with Phoenix’s lack of success since he joined the team as a first-round pick in 2015. However, Begley concluded his analysis of the trade rumors by noting that it’s been rumored that Booker’s father, former NBA player Melvin Booker, is “tired” of watching his son’s team lose more often than it wins.