Stephen A. Smith’s Claim on Suns’ Devin Booker Deemed ‘Unequivocally False’

The Phoenix Suns face an offseason with plenty of questions in 2024. They have some decisions to make with some of their players, like Devin Booker. Following their sweep at the hands of the Minnesota Timberwolves, ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith revealed who Booker would like to play for.

“I don’t know if it will ever happen. Devin Booker wants to be in New York. That’s what I’m being told,” Smith said on the April 29 episode of First Take. “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 wants to be in New York. So, if you’re Phoenix, you got at least two people, probably three, who are all getting paid about $150 million combined, don’t want to be there.”

Booker has not said as much himself publicly, nor have any NBA insiders confirmed that this is what Booker wants.

Report Refutes Claim About Devin Booker

PHNX Sports’ Gerald Bourguet responded to Smith’s claims about Booker where he refuted Smith’s words.

“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 in an April 29 story.

He added that the Knicks’ interest in Booker is legitimate because of his previous connections.

“According to that source, the Knicks have been interested in Booker dating back to Leon Rose’s instatement as team president back in 2020. Rose, a former CAA player agent prior to being hired by New York, once served as Booker’s representation, and other Knicks personnel with connections to the 27-year-old Suns star recently put out feelers about his potential interest in coming to New York.”

At the same time, the interest is not mutual on Booker’s end, per Bourguet. More than that, he has pledged his loyalty to the Suns’ organization.

“However, the Knicks’ interest in Devin Booker is one-sided, and the source was adamant about squashing this latest, unfounded rumor. Booker has remained loyal to the Suns franchise through some of its darkest days and has talked about bringing the super-team to him in Phoenix. Year 1 of his first super-team didn’t go according to plan, but Booker has succeeded in attracting established superstars like Chris Paul, Kevin Durant, and Bradley Beal to join him on the Suns.”

It sounds as though Booker will stay for the time being. At the same time, Damian Lillard did the same back when he played for Portland.

Kevin Durant Was Not Comfortable in Sun’ Offense

After the Timberwolves eliminated the Suns, The Athletic’s Shams Charania gave the full details on what went wrong with Phoenix. He included that Durant did not feel comfortable playing beside Booker or Beal.

“Sources briefed on the matter told The Athletic that Durant never felt comfortable with his role in Phoenix’s offense alongside Booker and Beal this season. Those sources said Durant had persistent issues with the offense, feeling that he was being relegated to the corner far too often and not having the proper designs to play to his strengths as the offense was built around pick-and-rolls,” Charania wrote in an April 28 story.

This could be a problem for the Suns should they keep this core intact for the 2024-25 season. The Suns have proven that they can make the playoffs, but acquiring Durant signified they wanted more than that.

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