We haven’t even had the preseason schedule announced, there is always the possibility of a trade yet to come, but it is still fun to discuss some way too early 2018-19 Phoenix Suns predictions.
Devin Booker‘s max contract will not take effect until 2019-20, but he will still want to prove his worth even while still on his rookie contract. Thus I predict that Book is going to go all out this coming season, with a mindful focus on reaching the playoffs, although with personal offensive and defensive goals to get the team there.
While offensively his early career statistics can be fairly compared to Kobe Bryant, Michael Jordan, and the like, he is nowhere near their career levels, he has never reached the playoffs, nor has he been able to take a weak Suns team and make it a decent one.
That said, for him to do pull each of those off, not only does he have to lead by example, but his performance has to be top notch. My bold prediction that Devin Booker will take his scoring up a notch to a height that has never been reached in franchise history: he is going to average more points per game than any Suns player ever, and break another one of Tom Chambers‘ scoring records by scoring more than 27.2 points pr game, the record Chambers set in 1989-90.
Moreover, Booker will take it up a notch on the defensive end and average over 1 steal a game for the first time in his career. I’m not going to go crazy with this defensive prediction, but he has never averaged over 1 a game, his career-high being 0.9 met in each of the last two seasons.
However, I am also not going to take for granted his drive to truly be great, and will boldly predict that Booker averaged 1.5 steals a game.
He will then make his first All-NBA team, a Third Team selection, although I do not believe he will be an All-Star just yet.