Athletes and fans are a very superstitious lot, and if rituals and patterns are to be taken seriously, Suns’ guard Landry Shamet should be forced to play for lottery teams for the rest of his career. If your team is contending for a championship, needs a piece in the offseason, and picks up or trades for Shamet, just give up. It’s time to call it quits and get ready for baseball season. Don’t get me wrong. Your team will reach the postseason. They will even win their first round series, but they will be doomed to lose in Game 7 of the second round. Don’t believe me?
Shamet was drafted in 2018 by the Philadelphia 76ers with the 26th overall pick. While Shamet was traded to the Clippers in 2019 as part of a midseason deal for Tobias Harris and Boban Marjanović, the Sixers wound up blowing a 2-1 series lead against the Toronto Raptors, suffering a Game 7 defeat thanks to Kawhi Leonard’s famous game-winner. No big deal. That’s a tough defeat. I’m sure it won’t happen again.
Next year, Shamet stays with the Clippers. He is now on the same team as the man who just won Toronto its first NBA championship, as well as the man who just finished third in MVP voting, Paul George. After finishing the regular season with a 49-23 record, second in the Western Conference, things were looking up. They did away with the Mavericks in the first round, and then promptly blew a 3-1 lead to the Denver Nuggets, falling in Game 7. I mean, the Clippers couldn’t even muster up 100 points in either of that series’ final two games. Embarrassing. Surely, this won’t happen again though!
In the offseason, Shamet was traded to the Brooklyn Nets as part of the three-team trade with Detroit that revolved around Luke Kennard and Saddiq Bey. Shamet was a solid contributor for the team, putting up very similar numbers to what he did in L.A. the year prior. However, even with Kevin Durant, James Harden, Kyrie Irving, LaMarcus Aldridge, and Blake Griffin, the Shamet curse could not be broken. The eventual champion Milwaukee Bucks overcame a 2-0 series lead to defeat the Nets in seven games. Shamet was likely distraught at this point. Watching his team lose in Game 7 of the second round had become a tradition, a holiday, if you will. Shamet could look up the NBA schedule in August, predict when Game 7 of the second round would happen and start looking at flights in that time frame ten months in advance!
Yet, prior to the 2021-22 season, Shamet was given one more chance. He’d been traded to the Phoenix Suns. Fresh off a loss in the 2021 Finals, the Suns were the most proven team the 25-year-old had ever been a part of. They had championship aspirations in 2022, and after finishing the regular season 64-18, best in the NBA, even better than the team’s finish the year prior when they reached the Finals, there was hope. Shamet could finally break this godforsaken curse. The Suns dominated the Pelicans in Round 1. Phoenix burst out to a 2-0 series lead against Dallas. Yes! Shamet could taste the Western Conference Finals!
Once again, Shamet’s burden had befallen the top-seeded Suns. On October 18, 2021, Shamet signed a four-year deal with Phoenix that starts prior to the 2022-23 season, so as of right now, it appears the Shamet curse will stay in the desert, unless of course he gets traded for the fourth time in as many years, which seems to be an inevitability at this point. The Suns have always been a cursed franchise, so they can’t afford to keep Shamet around. Hey! Maybe trading him to a team like the Sacramento Kings or Orlando Magic would be a good move. I’m sure they’d be thrilled with a second-round Game 7 exit. That’s probably the play, because I’m sure those sorry organizations would give up a whole hell of a lot for a chance to return to the playoffs, even if they lose in heartbreaking fashion in the second round.