Stephen A. Smith now wants Devin Booker on the Knicks, not Lakers

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Stephen A. Smith sure wants Devin Booker to be a star.

He believes the Phoenix Suns shooting guard already is one. But, the loud ESPN opinion man says, Booker cannot be a star because of the team he’s on.

Smith loves Phoenix coach Monty Williams. He’s in the past said he respects general manager James Jones.

But because of owner Robert Sarver’s reputation, Stephen A. has expressed his deep desire to watch Booker elsewhere for the second time this calendar year.

“I would love to see Devin Booker in New York. I think he has the kind of talent where he belongs on the big stage,” Smith said Tuesday, pointing out that the New York Knicks also have an owner, James Dolan, with a less-than-ideal reputation in the NBA.

Smith points to optimism for the Knicks to improve after Booker’s former agent, Leon Rose, joined the team this year to lead its front office.

“There are things that are on the uphill swing,” Smith said. “You need a guy that can put the ball in the hole and everybody knows night in and night out, as the No. 1 option, this is somebody you have to reckon with because he’s got those kind of skills. I believe that is Devin Booker. I believe Devin Booker is a star in this game, and I think the problem is he’s in Phoenix.”

Might Smith argue that Booker can be a star without being in a major market?

Might he propose that fans, like him, should recognize that Booker is in fact a star player right now, regardless of his team’s 26-39 record in the pre-coronavirus portion of Williams’ first year as head coach?

No. That would be too easy of a take.

In January, it was a loony trade proposal by Smith that suggested Booker could team with LeBron James and Anthony Davis with the Los Angeles Lakers.

“I think they need a marksman,” Smith said. “If I could package (Kyle) Kuzma with a multitude of players and even a pick and I can get myself Devin Booker to join Anthony Davis and LeBron James, would I do that? Hell yes.”

Of course, there is zero reason the Suns would agree to anything similar to that trade. Booker is young, already an All-Star and has four years left on his contract after this season. It would take an unfathomable situation for Phoenix to consider trading the young franchise face  who this year is averaging 26.1 points, 6.6 assists and 4.1 rebounds on 48.7% shooting and 36% accuracy from three.

We get it: Stephen A. wants Devin Booker on national TV more. He wants people to appreciate him for the talent he’s got right now. He thinks Booker doesn’t get enough respect.

Phoenix fans surely agree with those point.

But here’s a hot take: Maybe it is possible with a little effort to enjoy Devin Booker, as is.

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