Draymond Green, in all sincerity, decided to do Phoenix Suns shooting guard Devin Booker a favor as a guest analyst Friday on TNT’s NBA broadcast.
Draymond Green: It’s great to see Book playing well and Phoenix playing well but get my man out of Phoenix. It’s not good for him. It’s not good for his career. Sorry Chuck, they have to get Book out of Phoenix. I need my man to go somewhere he can play great basketball all the time and win because he’s that type of player.
Ernie Johnson : Are you tampering?
Let’s be honest, Green is ripping the Band-Aid off the obvious circumstances fans have seen play out with Booker — and perhaps he himself appreciated it. No other pressure in the past few years seems to have made a difference with the Suns.
Booker’s been in the league for five seasons, and the Suns have not made an effort to be competitive in the free agency or in the trade market, and the 2018 draft was the first time I’ve seen the franchise make solid draft selections since Booker. But even those guys are not on the same level as him.
When you look at NBA incidents of tampering in the past, it likely involved the luring by management or ownership of a specific team and a player of an opposite team, not two players from different teams, and in Green’s case he wasn’t suggesting Booker be added to the Warriors. Traditional examples of NBA tampering are: when the Milwaukee Bucks last season were fishing for the re-signing of Giannis Antetokounmpo and LeBron James luring Anthony Davis to the Lakers two years ago. Here, Green is just saying what needed to be said about the work ethic and level of performance Booker has put on since arriving in the league. He deserves a better team around him.
If you watched Phoenix before the COVID-19 pandemic struck, you saw Booker playing hero ball and everyone else fitting in where they could find a corner. It reminds me of Carmelo Anthony when he was with the Knicks, and LeBron James during his first stint in Cleveland. Both of those teams knew the talent they had in front of them and refused to roll out the Brinks truck in order to build their superstar formative team.
And yes, I am fully aware the Suns have had a lot of shakeups at head coach and in their front office since Booker’s arrival, but still that isn’t an excuse when you have a guy this great on your roster.
Since Robert Sarver can’t do right by Booker, if the Suns continue to win — maybe even make it to the playoffs — and Booker continues to average almost 30 points a game, Sarver will likely be called out again: either trade Booker or build a better team around him.
I understand the need to have safeguards in place against luring talent to another roster, but Draymond calling out the Suns was needed. There are poorly run teams in the NBA — as in any professional sport — so I’d like to look at this as a favor to the entire league.
The great thing about Green is you may like him or hate him. but you know what you will get with him: extreme honesty, which is good for television. That’s similar to another fixture on The NBA on TNT, Charles Barkly, who later had his own priceless exchange with Green regarding big men who can’t shoot. Green called out The Round Mound of Rebound because he thought he was referring to him. The debate delivered laughs but at the same time got a bit heated, which is probably exactly why Green was brought on in the first place.