$221 Million Star Wants to Join Knicks: Report

The New York Knicks have stockpiled draft picks with the hopes of parlaying that into the superstar that will complete their championship puzzle.

Their recent playoff success with rising star Jalen Brunson — they are one win away from advancing to the second round of the NBA Playoffs for the second straight season — has made them a destination for stars.

ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith floated Phoenix Suns star Devin Booker as a name to watch this summer.

“Booker wants to be in New York,” ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith said on First Take on Monday, April 29, a day after the Suns’ disappointing end to their season. “That’s what I’m being told. Now, he might deny it. I haven’t spoken to him. I’m just telling you the scuttlebutt in the NBA circles is that the brother wanna be in New York. So if you’re Phoenix, you’ve got at least two people—probably three—who are all getting paid about $150 million combined who don’t wanna be there.”

Devin Booker’s Ties with Knicks

Booker, the longest-tenured Suns player, is entering the first year of his $221 million, four-year supermax extension next season. He was a former client of Knicks president Leon Rose at Creative Artists Agency before he became a lead front office executive.

Knicks owner James Dolan went on record that part of the reason why he hired Rose was because of his ability to draw stars to come to New York.

I picked Leon because I believe after you look at the NBA and the game that we play, that the team with the best talent wins,” Dolan said on WFAN’s “Carton and Roberts,” hosted by Craig Carton and Evan Roberts in January last year. “You want a guy who can get you the best talent. I believe that Leon Rose is still the best guy.”

Booker is one of the best shooting guards in the league. He will be a major upgrade over incumbent starter Donte DiVincenzo if the Knicks can trade for him.

Devin Booker ‘Not Himself’ This Season

According to Shams Charania and Doug Haller of The Athletic, Booker “wasn’t himself in these playoffs.”

Booker, a four-time NBA All-Star, only averaged 20.3 points in the first three games before exploding for 49 in their 122-116 loss in Game 4 which went down as the most competitive game of their opening-round loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves.

“From his first NBA season, Booker has understood and embraced the responsibility that comes with being a face of the franchise,” Charania and Haller wrote. “But this season, something was missing.”

Booker tried to accommodate both Durant and Beal. But so in doing, there was no true leader of the team who emerged among the Suns’ Big 3.

What Knicks Can Offer for Devin Booker

With the Suns out of meaningful draft equity and on track to become a second-apron team, they are stuck with their expensive unbalanced roster that was overmatched in the first round against a deep Minnesota Timberwolves team.

Their only way to make significant changes to their roster is to break up their Big 3 of Booker, Kevin Durant and Bradley Beal. Among them, Booker would command the biggest return.

The Knicks can offer Julius Randle and either Donte DiVincenzo or Mitchell Robinson plus draft picks. Randle and Robinson will give the Suns the toughness they needed under Frank Vogel to surround a Kevin Durant-Bradley Beal combo.

But if the Knicks want to retain Randle, they can offer both Mitchell Robinson and Donte DiVincenzo plus Bojan Bogdanovic as the salary filler and all the draft picks they could give the Suns.



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