If D’Angelo Russell goes to Minnesota, all is lost for the Phoenix Suns

Phoenix Suns Devin Booker Karl-Anthony Towns D'Anthony Russell (Photo by Juan Ocampo/NBAE via Getty Images)
Phoenix Suns Devin Booker Karl-Anthony Towns D'Anthony Russell (Photo by Juan Ocampo/NBAE via Getty Images) /

The race is on. If D’Angelo Russell signs with the Minnesota Timberwolves, all is lost for the Phoenix Suns. James Jones must make blocking that move his mission for this summer.

It is as well known as anything in Phoenix Suns lure: Devin Booker, D’Angelo Russell, and Karl-Anthony Towns are all best friends, they want to eventually play with one another, and if any two team up, the third is bound to on his way as soon as possible.

Rumors have now begun to circulate that the Timberwolves will visit with Russell, and while they would have to find a way to create the necessary cap space to acquire him (they basically have none at the moment), which might include tying multiple future first round picks to Andrew Wiggins, where there is a will there is a way, and there at least appears to be will.

Although apparently not from the Phoenix Suns.

If Karl-Anthony Towns is able to recruit D’Angelo Russell, two of the three of the new Best Friends Club will be together, and there is no doubt that group text messages – which will never be released to fans – will immediately begin their recruitment of Booker.

And if you do not think that if the Suns continue to lose (or let’s be honest, even if they win – Kevin Durant left Oklahoma City after making it to the Western Conference Finals) that Book won’t at some point in the near future demand a trade to play with the two of them, and that Minnesota will not do everything in their power to oblige, you are kidding yourself.

Shoot, if D’Angelo is already meeting with the Timberwolves, then Booker has already been teased about how (if he signs) they want him there already.

There is only two ways for this to be avoided – or at least delayed: Russell signs anywhere  other than Minnesota, or he signs in Phoenix.

Which means that Robert Sarver and James Jones actually have it within their power to prevent such a grouping up, and potentially place themselves in the position of maybe making Phoenix as that team that could eventually be the Best Friends Super Team.

Sarver and Jones must make preventing Russell to Minnesota their offseason mission.

They have to understand that if there is a chance that Devin Booker (who prior to last season’s 19 win campaign noted that he would never miss the playoffs again) will request a trade in the near future, he will – and not only will Minnesota be at the top of his list, but management’s shortsightedness will have been the cause of the franchise’s undoing.

If Russell signs with the Lakers, for Suns fans, that would suck. There would be a second superteam in the Division (as if there isn’t already) putting Phoenix even farther behind in the drive to success.

However, at least the Suns would be able to buy time in the potential grouping of Russell and Booker in Los Angeles until LeBron James retires, which could still be a while.

In the meantime there is a chance  that something positive happens to the Suns that makes them a team Booker never wants to leave.

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At the same time though, if the Suns do not take that next step forward, the Minnesota Timberwolves and Towns could still be a destination for Booker, which could happen sooner rather than later.

Imagine if Russell signs anywhere but Phoenix or Minnesota, yet the Timberwolves still take a step forward while the Suns remain farther behind – I honestly do not believe that either Corey Joseph or Terry Rozier will be anywhere near enough to make the Suns a playoff team.

Granted, Andrew Wiggins still has four years remaining on his contract that will make trading him difficult, but where there is a will there is a way, and at least from a financial perspective, if Booker demanded a trade to Minnesota, while the Suns could potentially turn it down, Sarver has recently been attempting to make Phoenix as attractive to all players as possible (specifically in the events surrounding Tyson Chandler and Austin Rivers), and Booker is one of the most popular players in franchise history.

Wouldn’t one figure that Sarver would allow such a trade to occur to save as much face as possible?

There is no doubt that fans would sympathize with Booker too if he demanded a trade pushing angst not at the player, rather at ownership – and rightly so.

The Phoenix Suns basically need to be a super team of their own if they are going to compete in the Western Conference, let alone the Pacific Division. One can certainly argue that the addition of D’Angelo Russell to a combo of Devin Booker and Deandre Ayton will get them there.

However, if Russell teams up with Karl-Anthony Towns, the Timberwolves will be two thirds of the way from the Super Best Friends Team, and potentially one season away from a concerted effort away from bringing the triad together.

dark. Next. Sorting Out Sunday

Robert Sarver and James Jones have the ability to stop this from happening. If they do not, the destruction of this current core and the thrusting of the franchise into an age of darkness we cannot even fathom, would be entirely their fault.