D’Angelo Russell to the Phoenix Suns might be closer than ever

Devin Booker Phoenix Suns D'Angelo Russell Brooklyn Nets (Photo by David Dow/NBAE via Getty Images)
Devin Booker Phoenix Suns D'Angelo Russell Brooklyn Nets (Photo by David Dow/NBAE via Getty Images) /

Newsflash: Phoenix Suns star Devin Booker and Brooklyn Nets All-Star ‘DAngelo Russell are best friends. If the Brooklyn Nets sign a particular point guard, Russell could be on the move – to Phoenix.

The Phoenix Suns are in desperate need of acquiring a point guard this offseason with a wealth of opportunities and a number of options at their disposal. The player that most Suns fans have their eye on – and likely star Devin Booker as well – is current Brooklyn Net, D’Angelo Russell.

And a recent tweet breeds speculation that such a pairing could potentially be closer to reality than ever before.

Although the above tweet says that the Nets would be willing to pair both Kyrie Irving and Russell together (more on that soon), I do not buy it for a multitude of reasons.

It would be the general opinion of most that if the Brooklyn Nets do land Kyrie, that they would then have no need for Russell himself could potentially demand a max contract based on his results from last season.

But why would that kind of information of a potential pairing leak out?

At this point too the Nets have  to maintain a level of loyalty to Russell for the sake of a still potential future relationship.

Let’s say that bonafied and legitimate leaks emerged very early in the free agency process (say, now) that the Net are not only targeting Kyrie Irving but would immediately seek a sign-and-trade of D’Angelo Russell.

Would Russell ever be happy with or trust general manager Sean Marks the rest of his career?

With a now soured relationship, even if Brooklyn did not land Kyrie but it was obvious to all that they coveted him above their current star, what if Russell demanded that Brooklyn does not match an offer that he signs in restricted free agency (or demands a sign-and-trade)?

By Brooklyn letting the NBA world know that they would pair the two together, they at least continue the facade of a happy working relationship with their current point guard, letting him know that he is still loved and a part of their long-term future (should that be their only option).

Moving beyond that, Brooklyn still too has Spencer Dinwiddie who has a contract extension of his own ready to kick in beginning this coming season.

Phoenix Suns
Phoenix Suns /

Phoenix Suns

The idea that Brooklyn would max out Kyrie, max (or near max) Russell, while have Dinwiddie earning around $10 million beginning next season is asinine – especially for a team that is not only not  a point guard upgrade away from the top of their Conference, but had Jared Dudley and Rodions Kurucs start games at power forward and small forward multiple times in their first round exit to Philadelphia.

By retaining all three guards, the Nets would be allocating somewhere near $70 million a year to their backcourt alone with other major holes to fill – and a roster even with Kyrie, not nearly as deep as would need to be to compete for an Eastern Conference Championship, especially if Kawhi Leonard remains in Toronto.

Certainly the prevailing thought has been that the Nets will seek to acquire two  max players, and along with Kyrie potentially sign Kevin Durant, a pairing that would absolutely vault the Nets at or near the top of the East.

In order to sign two max’s Brooklyn would reportedly need to relinquish the rights to Russell – that would then immediately make him an unrestricted free agent – a situation which would presumably place the Phoenix Suns as one of the top contenders for acquiring his talents.

However, if the Nets do not land Durant, would they still want to place so  much of their financial emphasis on the backcourt by pairing Kyrie up with Russell, or would they still prefer to max (or near max) another player for their frontcourt, say Tobias Harris, to provide balance, maintaining depth in the backcourt with the cheaper Dinwiddie still in the fold.

Logically, that situation makes the most sense, and if the rumor of Kyrie potentially eyeing the Nets (presumably with the expectation that he would pair up with another free agent) is true, the idea of keeping D’Angelo Russell seems far too an expensive redundancy for a team who like the Phoenix Suns have just far too many holes to fill.

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For fans of the Suns, the more movement there is in the NBA this offseason, the more options James Jones has at acquiring a legitimate point guard to fill that gaping hole in his starting lineup.

If Kyrie Irving leaves the Boston Celtics, to me, it does not make any sense that Brooklyn would keep D’Angelo Russell around, preferring to utilize what he would be paid on players to fill their own many holes in their roster. If this is the case, the Suns could be that much closer to their point guard of the future – and Devin Booker to his best friend.