Devin Booker has without a doubt made a name for himself since being drafted in 2015 by the Phoenix Suns.
Booker was the 13th pick in the first round, and most scouts thought that the Suns were kind of reaching taking the young guard that early. He’s been either overlooked or underrated since he stepped on the court, and I’m here to plead his case for the next time this conversation comes up.
This season, the NBA has started to turn its focus towards the new young players impacting the league like Karl-Anthony Towns, Donovan Mitchell, Ben Simmons, Joel Embiid. There’s one thing those stars all have in common, they’re all older than Devin Booker.
Booker averages more points than all of them, more rebounds than Mitchell, and more assists than everyone other than Simmons. If you want to compare Booker to more veteran talent, that’s fine too: Booker averages more points than Kyrie Irving, more assists than Eric Bledsoe, more rebounds than Andrew Wiggins, more steals than Klay Thompson, and more blocks than Russell Westbrook.
Booker is also an elite shooter with higher FG percentage than Kemba Walker, higher FT percentage than CJ McCollum, and a higher 3-point percentage than James Harden. The stats speak for themselves, but I’ll continue on with his accolades.
The amount that he has accomplished already in his young career is great. He won the 2018 3-point contest with 28 points in the final round, which is an all-time record. He missed only five of 25 shots in the final round.
The previous record was 27 points set by Stephen Curry in 2015 and matched by his teammate Klay Thompson the following year. He beat 2016 champion Klay Thompson of the Golden State Warriors and the Clippers’ Tobias Harris in the final round to bring home the trophy.
Booker, being the lights-out shooter that he is, dropped 70 points against the #1 seed Celtics last season. Booker is the youngest player ever to even score 60 points, so he set the bar higher for the next guys.
He now holds the Suns franchise record for most points scored in a game, scored more points than anyone ever has against the Celtics, and now has a career high above NBA greats like LeBron James, Steph Curry, Kevin Durant, and many more.
If after everything stated here you need just one more push, this season, Booker became the 3rd-youngest player ever to join the 4,000 point club. He’s right behind LeBron James and Kevin Durant, and you can read this to learn a little more about that historic achievement as well.
The 21-year-old guard has made his team proud, and I know he has made BBN proud. Nothing makes our fans, me included, happier than to see an alumni succeed. I hope after reading these facts that you now are on the right side of the spectrum that believes Devin Booker is an underrated NBA star that will be a highlight reel in the league for years to come.