Predicting Devin Booker’s 2019-20 season with the Phoenix Suns

Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images
Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images /

Following an All-Star caliber 2018-19, Phoenix Suns star Devin Booker is looking to continue his early-career growth in his fifth year in the NBA. Here are some reasonable expectations for next season.

Devin Booker has done something for the Phoenix Suns very few from his 2015 draft class have anywhere in the NBA: in just four seasons, he has surpassed expectations and blossomed into the early comings of an NBA superstar.

Meanwhile, Booker has also turned into the face of the Phoenix Suns franchise – and is still only 22-years-old.

Last season was the perfect example of what Booker’s potential can manifest itself into.

He averaged a career-high 26.6 points per game while shooting a career best (46.7%) and upping his assists average to a career-high 6.8 per game.

Booker undoubtedly took his game to the next level.

Unfortunately, the same could not be said of the Suns as a whole.

While Booker played his heart out each and every night, Phoenix floundered to a 19 win season and returned to the bottom in the NBA. That could serve as sound reasoning as to why DBook was snubbed of his first All-Star game appearance despite having an ample personal resume to attend the festivities.

Instead, players like D’Angelo Russell and Klay Thompson made the roster as Booker was once again pushed aside.

But this upcoming season could be the one where Booker breaks through and receive All-Star recognition.

It all starts with what Phoenix has done this offseason to surround him with players who fit his style of play.

Gone are the days of Devin Booker having to run the offense at point because there wasn’t someone to handle the reins.

Ricky Rubio is in town and has plans to stay (at least three years). He alone should significantly help with Booker’s efficiency on the offensive end of the floor.

That doesn’t mean Booker was inefficient on offense, just that he was mostly carrying the load of both scorer and distributor all season long.

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He actually finished among the top shooting guards in Player Efficiency Rating (20.30), but with Rubio pairing with him in the backcourt, that number should climb.

Although it’s most likely his assists will take a dip next season, that will be because of Rubio’s ability to spread the ball on offense.

This also could lead to Booker finding his 3-point shot which dropped to a career-low 32.6 percent last season.

Rather than having to force tough shots, he can play off the ball and position himself better for open looks. That will be big for the Suns, who are finished with the league’s worst 3-point percentage in each of the past two seasons.

Another positive factor of Booker’s game that could occur next season will be his ability to play less minutes on the court.

That will come as a result of Phoenix’s new depth in the backcourt.

With both Tyler Johnson and Mikal Bridges playing behind Booker, this newfound depth will give the fifth-year pro more opportunities to take extended breathers more often during games.

Another benefit of that will be less opportunities for Booker to take beatings during the regular season.

Last season Booker played in only 64 games, following a 54 game 2017-18 campaign.

With less minutes and more rest time, it will give Booker a better chance at playing over 70 games like he did during his first two years in the league.

Like the previous four years, Booker’s career trend should continue upwards.

Prediction of final stat line: 77 games, 25.0 PPG, 46% FGP (39% 3-pt), 4.2 APG

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It’s likely Devin Booker will again be up for his first All-Star game as a member of the Phoenix Suns, but with overall improved shooting and more games played he could also find himself in MVP contention.