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Suns' Booker: 'Done with not making playoffs'

From ESPN - April 11, 2018

PHOENIX -- For the eighth season in a row, the Phoenix Suns wo not make the playoffs. The win totals the past three seasons including this one: 23, 24 and 21. The 21-61 mark in the team's 50th season is the worst since Phoenix went 16-66 in its inaugural 1968-69 season.

Now, everyone involved is insisting, enough is enough.

"I am done with not making the playoffs," rising star Devin Booker said as the players cleaned out their lockers and conducted exit interviews Wednesday. "I am serious. This is probably my last year ever not making the playoffs. If that's putting pressure on myself, I am going to take this summer and work that hard so that it does not happen again."

The season devolved in the final months, with injuries depleting the already exceedingly young roster, leaving a contingent of G League transfers to fill out the lineup in the final days. The Suns lost a franchise-record 15 straight in one stretch.

Booker's goal is "turning the franchise around and getting it back how it used to be."

"You watch the highlights of [Charles] Barkley, [Steve] Nash and them and how alive the arena was," Booker said. "So, one of my goals is to get it back that way."

Booker, who is eligible for a maximum contract extension this offseason, along with TJ Warren and rookie Josh Jackson form the core of the young talent the Suns have accumulated. Dragan Bender and Marquese Chriss could be part of it, too, although their development has been uneven.

And while interim coach Jay Triano says, "People around the league want to play with Devin Booker," there's no guarantee Triano will be around to coach him.

Triano, who assumed the interim role after Earl Watson was fired just three games into the season, has said he would like to remain the team's coach.

General manager Ryan McDonough said the search will begin immediately for a head coach, with a list of 5-10 candidates in mind.

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