Knicks Willing to Offer ‘Almost Anything’ to Pair $221 Million Star With Jalen Brunson: Report

The New York Knicks are eyeing to pair their emerging star Jalen Brunson with Phoenix Suns’ four-time NBA All-Star guard Devin Booker, according to PHNX Sports’ Suns lead writer Gerald Bourguet.

And the Knicks are willing to move heaven and earth to make their dream backcourt a reality.

“Adding a young superstar with four All-Star selections and one All-NBA selection (and possibly a second to follow soon) like Booker to the No. 2 seed in the Eastern Conference makes sense from the Knicks’ perspective. He and Jalen Brunson would form an electrifying, high-scoring backcourt for one the NBA’s most pleasant surprises, and according to a source, New York would be willing to offer almost anything to make that pairing happen,” Bourguet wrote on April 29.

The Knicks are in a prime position to trade for a star. They have eight tradable first-round picks, including this year’s No. 24 (from Dallas) and No. 25. Their savvy front office has also stacked tradable midsize contracts.

Booker, the longest-tenured Suns player, is entering the first year of his $221 million, four-year supermax extension next season.

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

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

Stephen A. Smith’s Claims About Devin Booker ‘Unequivocally False’

Bourguet’s report came on the heels of ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith claiming on “First Take” that Booker wants to join the Knicks.

“Booker wants to be in New York,” Smith said on “First Take” on April 29, a day after the Suns were swept in the first round of the NBA Playoffs. “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.”

But according to Bourguet, the interest is only one-sided as Booker’s camp vehemently denied Smith’s claim on national TV.

“For starters, following up that kind of claim with “I haven’t spoken with him” is a fantastic sentence, and a clear dividing line between the entertainment being provided here versus actual reporting.

But beyond that, a source from Devin Booker’s camp who’s intimately familiar with the situation told PHNX Sports that these rumors are unequivocally false,” Bourguet wrote.

Bourguet added that Booker’s connections with the Knicks “recently put out feelers about his potential interest in coming to New York.”

Suns Early Flameout Fueled Knicks Rumors

The rumors were ignited by the Suns’ disappointing early flame out in the fist round after they went all-in on a Big Three of Booker, Kevin Durant and Bradley Beal.

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

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

Booker was a former client of Knicks president Leon Rose at Creative Artists Agency before he became a lead front office executive.

 

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