2018 Free Agency

Reports: Devin Booker upset Phoenix Suns didn't communicate Tyler Ulis release to him

From NBA Twitter and media reports

The hope for better days in Phoenix seems to begin with Devin Booker, the Suns’ rising star guard. Before the season, Suns general manager Ryan McDonough told The Arizona Republic’s Scott Bordow that Booker would assume a more active role in the franchise’s direction moving forward.

Months later, Booker is reportedly angry at the Suns for failing to do just that.

According to Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports, Booker is displeased that Phoenix released his friend and former college teammate Tyler Ulis without communicating the move to him. Bordow later confirmed the report, writing:

… Booker was upset with the Suns’ front office that he wasn’t given a heads-up about the decision. Ulis and Booker have been best friends since they played together at Kentucky. The source said Booker was more upset about the lack of communication than he was Ulis’ release.

Phoenix drafted Ulis in 2016 with the 34th overall pick, and he averaged 7.3 points and 3.7 assists per game in 2016-17. Offseason ankle surgery affected the start to his second NBA season and, eventually, the Suns had to rely on stop-gap solutions at the point in 2017-18.

The Suns will reportedly use most of their cap space on Houston Rockets free agent Trevor Ariza, who came to terms with Phoenix on a one-year deal early Sunday morning.

Booker is eligible this summer for a maximum contract extension worth more than $150 million, which Bordow indicates Booker would likely still sign despite his anger about Ulis’ release. ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported Sunday (via Twitter) that Booker, Suns owner Robert Sarver and McDonough are scheduled to meet concerning his extension this week.

“Sources: Suns owner Robert Sarver and GM Ryan McDonough are meeting with star guard Devin Booker and his agent Leon Rose to present the framework of his rookie extension contract offer on Tuesday in Los Angeles. Booker is a strong candidate for a max deal.”

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