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Report: Devin Bookers Wants to Join Knicks

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The 2023-24 Phoenix Suns season hasn’t been deceased for 24 hours yet but that’s not stopping Stephen A. Smith from speaking ill of the dead.

The ESPN analyst/New York Knicks critic used Monday’s edition of First Take to spread some early metropolitan offseason gossip, claiming that the Suns’ homegrown franchise face, Devin Booker, has his sights set east on the big city.

“From what I’m being told … I don’t know if it’ll ever happen … Devin Booker wants to be in New York. That’s what I’m being told,” Smith said. “Now, he might deny it, I haven’t spoken to him. I’m just telling you the scuttlebutt in NBA circles is that brother wants to be in New York.”


Nov 26, 2023; New York, New York, USA; Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker (1) goes back to the bench

Booker and the Suns saw their season end on Sunday night when sixth-seeded Phoenix dropped a 122-116 decision to the Minnesota Timberwolves. The Suns went all-in on a pricy plan that also featured Bradley Beal and Kevin Durant but injuries limited the expensive trio’s time together and they never reached the desired heights they envisioned when all three were on the floor.

The Suns’ superteam super gambit has left them mostly bereft of future assets, forcing them into a box of either running it back with this underachieving group or blowing it up immediately. A four-year, $221 million deal kicks in for Booker next season, one of several financial issues the Suns expected to face with something greater to show for it.

Smith often uses his Bristol platforms to beg NBA stars with even the slightest bit of discontent to join the Knicks, but that schtick may be put on hold for as long as the team’s active playoff trip lasts. Hours before the Suns’ season ended, the Knicks earned a 97-92 win over the Philadelphia 76ers in Game 4 in their own opening round playoff series, going up 3-1 in the best-of-seven set.

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Nov 20, 2022; Phoenix, Arizona, USA; Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker (1) defends against New York

When it’s over, the Knicks will likely continue to explore their superstar options on the transaction front. But it’s questionable whether Booker is the name that would put them over the top: Booker has made a strong NBA career with finesse over grit, and the latter quality has come to define the Knicks’ recent success. That’s not meant to be a knock against Booker (who has played such a strategy into four NBA All-Star Game invites and a Finals bid in 2021) but it doesn’t exactly fit the Knicks’ established tone.

The Knicks are well within their right to go star-gazing when this season ends, but they need to be careful, especially with major financial decisions looming over both Brunson and Julius Randle’s futures. Even if one misses when shooting for the moon, they could land amongst the stars … but sometimes that star provides the agonizing heat of the sun, as Phoenix macabrely and ironically found out.

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