It’s an emotional time for Suns star Devin Booker.
Less than two weeks ago, Booker was celebrating his team’s selection of DeAndre Ayton with the first pick in the draft, promptly declaring the two of them could be “Shaq and Kobe 2.0”.
But those good vibes didn’t last long, with Phoenix releasing his close friend Tyler Ulis over the weekend.
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
The former Kentucky Wildcat is believed to be especially annoyed because Suns general manager Ryan McDonough had stated Booker would play an active role in the franchise’s decision-making (according to AZCentral’s Scott Bordow).
And while GMs can hardly be expected to take into account who’s buddies with who, it’s not the first time Phoenix has run into complications caused by close relationships between their players.
The separation of the Morris twins springs to mind, although unlike the Booker-Ulis split, that featured a lot of off-court drama which further complicated matters.
In Booker’s case, the presence of Ayton is sure to make all his grievances go away eventually.
But the Suns must still ensure Booker feels like the front office cares about what he has to say, especially considering he can become a free agent at the end of next season.