REPORT: Devin Booker agrees to 5-year, $158 million deal with Phoenix
Sources: Devin Booker has signed a 5-year, $158M maximum contract extension with the Phoenix Suns.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) July 8, 2018
The 21-year-old phenom is now the highest-paid player in Suns’ franchise history.
Booker and the front office met in Los Angeles earlier this week to iron out contract stipulations and line out their long-term plan after drafting Arizona center DeAndre Ayton with the No. 1 overall pick and signing defensive stalwart Trevor Ariza to a one-year, $15 million deal.
The Suns are now in the position to follow the Los Angeles Lakers’ early 2000s blueprint, pairing a star shooting guard with a 7-footer that has the potential to become one of the best big men in the league, showing glimpses of a Kobe Bryant-Shaquille O’Neal partnership and now adding a Rick-Fox-like asset in Ariza, who can hound players in the perimeter.
Under the current salary construction, Booker will make $27.3 million starting in 2019-20, and could make as much as a hair short of $36 million by the 2023-24 season.
The Kentucky product averaged career-highs in points (24.9), rebounds (4.5), and assists (4.7) last season, while getting crowned as the 3-Point Contest winner during All-Star Weekend.
Booker has remained committed to signing with the Suns since last summer, despite rumors of him being upset after the team waived his best friend, backup point guard Tyler Ulis.
“I’ve been treated right from the day I was drafted, even when I was a rookie and didn’t play much,” said Booker, according to Scott Bordow of The Arizona Republic. “The city of Phoenix took me in with open arms and made me a part of their family. I’ve learned the history and traditions of the team. I know how much the city cares about the franchise and that means a lot to me, playing somewhere where people actually care about the franchise.
“I love it here, I bought a house here and I intend to be here for a long time.”
The Suns are building through their youth, and there isn’t a better way to do so than locking down a franchise player that has the potential to take them to greater heights.