Devin Booker has competition in the possible recruitment of D’Angelo Russell

Devin Booker, D'Angelo Russell, Karl-Anthony Towns Phoenix Suns (Photo by Gary Dineen/NBAE via Getty Images)
Devin Booker, D'Angelo Russell, Karl-Anthony Towns Phoenix Suns (Photo by Gary Dineen/NBAE via Getty Images) /

Everyone knows of the banana boat gang, but there is another famous group of NBA friends and Phoenix Suns star Devin Booker might have some competition to potentially bring two of the three together.

It is well known that Devin Booker, Karl-Anthony Towns, and D’Angelo Russell are all very good friends.

They have spoken of playing together and many fans of the Phoenix Suns and their star player even last year hoped that Booker and Towns could be brought together via a trade of the first overall pick that eventually brought from college Deandre Ayton.

At this moment, however, Book and Towns remain on different teams with no real means of facilitating a move by either one of them to the other’s team, yet the third player in the group’s triad, D’Angelo Russell, might be an unrestricted free agent as soon as the first of July.

And let the public recruitment begin.

Both the Phoenix Suns and Minnesota Timberwolves need a point guard (Phoenix more than Minnesota) and both stars on their respective team have already spent some time publicly nodding and winking at Russell to try and get his attention should his free agency be granted.

Using social media, Booker has already been spotted wearing Russell’s 2019 All-Star jersey while on a boat (a real  boat, not an inflatable banana), while Towns recently shared a picture of himself holding a t-shirt with Russell’s head adorning a crown.

It seems that Towns would like to have his old pal in Minnesota as much as Booker would love him in Phoenix.

Should the Brooklyn Nets renounce Russell’s rights and grant him unrestricted free agency, the public recruitment might end up being very short to even non-existent as the behind the scenes recruitment has probably already taken place.

For all we know, Russell has already chosen a preference for where he’d like to play next season should the stars align.

Fortunately for Devin Booker, the stars may truly align in the Valley of the Suns as Phoenix has a distinct advantage over Minnesota: cap space.

According to Sportrac, the Phoenix Suns have about $22 million in “practical” cap space for the 2019-20 season, and certainly with a single trade of Josh Jackson could move that closer to $30 million, with a trade of T.J. Warren that could be moved to over $30 million, and if they traded Tyler Johnson (without picking up equal salary in return) can bump that to well over $40 million.

Potentially James Jones could even sign Russell without moving a single player currently on the roster.

The Timberwolves, on the other hand, are already at -$4.5 million in “practical” cap space, and would have to move no fewer than two large contracts without acquiring any contracts in return just to open the space necessary to sign Russell, not to mention the subsequent need to re-fill out the roster.

Next. The Phoenix Suns should not swap second round picks with the Atlanta Hawks. dark

The recruitment process of D’Angelo Russell has begun by Devin Booker and Karl-Anthony Towns, although in truth it may already be complete.

As much as Towns would love to have Russell in Minnesota, it is more likely that D’Angelo ends up in Phoenix this coming season, should the opportunity arise and Suns management see him as a good fit.