Devin Booker is Not an All Star


Devin Booker is the most likable player the Suns have had since Steve Nash.  He is soft spoken, thoughtful, and straight up stylish.  That suave quality makes it easy to confuse his personal appeal with his on the court performance.

As a result, many Suns fans (including many of our own VotS team) have been lulled into believing the hype that Booker is an All-Star caliber player.  The problem is that Booker’s play doesn’t justify such accolades.  A look into the arguments for and against Devin’s case will quickly make the point:

Argument for Booker

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The argument to put Devin into the All-Star game is simple: The man gets buckets.

At age 20, he is the leading scorer for the team at over 20 points per game.  That qualifies for third in the Western conference among shooting guards.

The All-Star game isn’t about watching the best statistical performers.  The All-Star game is about watching the most entertaining players for the fans.  Booker is a flashy play maker and shooter.  For all the reasons outlined in the first paragraph, he is a fan favorite and an easy attraction.  This is like putting young Kobe into the game.  Did he statistically deserve it?  Probably not, but it was clear he was going to be a star for the next two decades and everyone could and wanted to see the future show.

Argument Against Booker

There is no statistical evidence to support that fact that Booker is an elite player right now.   For all the shooting skills the man possesses, he ranks 35th among all shooting guards for three point percentage along with names like Tony Snell and Tim Hardaway Jr.  He is 20th in field goal percentage.  Devin might be third in points per game for shooting guards, but he is seventh among all guards in the Western conference.  He is not in the top twenty among all guards for either rebounds or assists.  Statistically speaking, there is nothing elite about Booker’s game.

When you include Booker’s horrendous defense, the statistical case is clear.  It does not matter what you use to grade Booker’s defense: the eye test, PER, GameScore, Defensive rating, Win Share, etc.  Booker is near the league’s worst defenders in every criteria.  At least 50% of being a good player requires defensive performance.  Points scored by the guy you are supposed to guard count the same way as the points you score.  You can not be an elite level player if you are not at least average at half of the game you are playing.

To be an NBA All Star almost always correlates to not only fan appeal, but with being one of the top two to three players at your position in your conference.  Booker is not currently a better player, or more entertaining, than James Harden, CJ McCollum, or Klay Thompson.

Related Story: Devin Booker isn't an All-Star; He's a Superstar


To be clear, Devin Booker is the future of the Phoenix Suns will be a future All Star as early as next year.  That honor will have to be earned.  Devin is a great young man.  The statistics don’t show the shooting form or the difficult shots.  The numbers don’t tell the story of the potential star waiting to come out, but potential performance doesn’t count today.

Today, Devin Booker is not an All-Star.