Welp. This is dumb.
Apparently, Suns shooting guard and future ‘max extension’ guy Devin Booker is making it known he’s unhappy with the Suns releasing his buddy Tyler Ulis.
Sources: As he becomes eligible for five-year maximum rookie extension, Phoenix Suns' Devin Booker is upset with the front office over release of best friend Tyler Ulis, who started 43 games last season.— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) July 1, 2018
As first glance, you might think of course he’s unhappy, but that doesn’t mean he has lost any connection with the franchise or front office. He’s a kid. His friend got fired. Of course he’s not happy about losing his friend.
But he’s still going to take $156 million to play basketball. No one turns that down. No one.
But then this happened.
Greg Esposito worked for the Suns for years and has lots of followers. Apparently including Booker himself.
Can totally get it from @DevinBook’s perspective. You say he’s the face of the franchise, talk about him being involved and then cut his best friend without mentioning it to him. Culture is built on communication and trust. Has to come from both sides.— Free Agents Are Never Free (@Espo) July 1, 2018
And the fact that both Booker and Dwyane Wade ‘liked’ this tweet within minutes of Espo posting it.
Who knows the motivation here.
The Suns last week extended Ulis’ guarantee date, reportedly to find a trade partner so he could keep his guaranteed contract for the upcoming season. But the Suns failed to find a trade and released him yesterday in advance of free agency.
You’d think that meant best friends Booker and Ulis knew the jig was up all week. How could they not?
And if Booker wants to win, maybe he should not require the Suns keep his buddy on the team while they reshape the roster. Ulis did not prove NBA-worthy last year, completely enveloped in his diminutive stature - unable to defend well, or even get through picks without “sticking” to the screener too long and losing his man. Then on offense, getting his shot blocked unless he dove to the right or left to avoid them.
But if the Suns truly didn’t even bother to communicate with Booker, talk to him, explain to him the need for this roster change, well that’s on the Suns. And it’s a continued bad look.
IT’S NOT HARD TO MAKE A DAMN CALL.
Booker didn’t have to like the move. He should have known it was coming, and gotten that courtesy call immediately after Tyler, which should have been immediately after Tyler’s agent.
That’s the order. Agent -> Tyler -> Devin. Five minutes. That’s all it would have taken.
That courtesy, reportedly, was all Markieff Morris wanted two years ago when the Suns dumped Marcus for cap space. Sure he wanted to keep his brother on the team. But moreso, he wanted the Suns to have called him and Marcus directly to let them know what was up.
Before that, transparent, honest communication was reportedly all Goran Dragic wanted in 2014-15 when the Suns brought in both Isaiah Thomas and Eric Bledsoe and handed them the playmaking duties for the first three months of the season. Reportedly, if the Suns had just followed through on communication, he might not have wanted a trade or to leave in free agency. Dragic didn’t dislike playing next to Bledsoe. He disliked IT being there too, and none of them could play effectively “off the ball” all game.