The Drive with Jody Oehler

The Drive with Jody Oehler

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Windhorst: Booker All Star Snub "Unfair" But Understandable

ESPN's Brian Windhorst joined The Drive with Jody Oehler the day after Devin Booker was left off the Western Conference All Star team and offered his thoughts on the decision. Windhorst stated that Booker is "paying a tax" for being Suns teammates with Chris Paul and while his snub was "unfair" the decision was understandable given other team's strong performances in the West.

Later in the conversation, Jody and Brian discussed what kind of ceiling this year's version of the Suns had and the ESPN NBA reporter extraordinaire had some glowing words to say about the franchise:

"You know when you see a championship team? When you get to the 7-minute mark of the first quarter and the guys who come walking down from the bench and taking off their sweats are real dudes. That's what real teams have. You start to see this from the Suns. You wouldn't necessarily have said that about a guy like Cam Payne of Cam Johnson a year ago but now when those guys walk down from the bench you're like 'Wait a minute, Those guys can play." And so, that is trending in the right direction for them."

Windhorst also acknowledged the Suns may be looking to add a piece or two but emphasized he did not believe the Suns necessarily needed to acquire a veteran. One veteran who recently became available was four time All Star DeMarcus Cousins, who was released by the Houston Rockets. Windhorst believes there are some concerning signs in Cousins's game making him a risky potential add:

"I can tell you he shot 37% overall. He's victimized on defense because people put him in the pick and roll and eat him alive. The reason you want Demarcus Cousins on your roster is because he can score a ton of points. Well, he can't right now."

While Cousins may not be an ideal match, could the Suns still make a move before the trade deadline? Windhorst explained while it may not be impossible for the Suns to make a trade, its far more likely they scour the buyout market for any help they may need:

"The challenge for the Suns in any deal is that they're not permitted to trade a first round pick until 2027. What teams want for rental players is kinda first-round picks and the market is going to be tight. Last year at the all-star break there were 4 teams that were within 5 games of 500. Now, I think there are 17 and 20 teams make the playoffs..... It's a bad market for buyers."
"I think Phoenix's move is to go after a guy in the buyout market......I think they've gott the depth. I like they're roster. Not necessarily to win a championship, but we're looking for a first playoff spot in a decade. Just take that. I like their roster if they stay healthy to be a playoff team"

Jody and Brian also discussed the NBA All Star voting process and whether coaches spend actual time making their reserve selections plus a conversation on who would win a 7 game series between the Suns and the Utah Jazz.

To hear the full interview, listen to the podcast:

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