Phoenix Suns news: Devin Booker speaks on how much Ricky Rubio helped him

Phoenix Suns (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Phoenix Suns (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /

Devin Booker was highly complimentary of Ricky Rubio and how he’s helped his progression with the Phoenix Suns in his first year with the team

Signing Ricky Rubio this offseason didn’t figure to be a huge move for the Phoenix Suns directly, but the stoic play and veteran intelligence he brings raises the bar for the Suns. According to Devin Booker, he’s also helped the young star take his game to a new level.

Speaking to The Big Lead, Booker revealed just how helpful having Rubio has been for his development:

"“Having a pass-first, true leader, playoff-experienced point guard in Ricky Rubio helped out a lot,” Booker said to The Big Lead."

The Suns nabbed Rubio in free agency this offseason in a summer where point guards willing to go to smaller markets weren’t readily available (Kemba Walker, Kyrie Irving, and D’Angelo Russell weren’t ever in the cards for the Suns).

Malcolm Brogdon was the second-best point guard available in free agency, and the Indiana Pacers had to surrender a first-round pick to secure his services (which have plummeted in efficiency this year).

Building a team is about putting the right pieces around your stars, something the Suns seem to have done right with Rubio next to Booker.

Booker, who leads the team in scoring with 26.1 points per game, receives over 16 passes per game from Rubio, having over 18 percent of his field goals come off of Rubio assists.

Booker was snubbed from the All-Star team at first this season, but ended up getting named to his first team as a reserve once Damian Lillard pulled out of the game due to injury.

The Suns, in general, were better with Rubio on the floor. Phoenix’s assist percentage was up 3.9 percent, effective field goal percentage up slightly, and net rating up 9.9.

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For Booker specifically, by far his best partner was Rubio, statistically. Their 7.3 net rating is the best two-man lineup that features Booker and has played more than 50 total minutes this season. Their defensive rating is high at 108.0, but still better than the team’s average (111.8).

The duo posts the team’s fourth-best two-man lineup and very best offensive rating (116.2). Miles Bridges and Booker make for the second-best at 115.7.

They also post one of the best lineups for the Suns in terms of assist-to-turnover ratio at 2.13.

In speaking to The Big Lead, Booker also called out the fresh system from Monty Williams and Kelly Oubre Jr. for making the team better all-around this year. He also praised the leap Deandre Ayton has taken in his sophomore season.

Booker, throughout the season’s suspension, has been spending quite a bit of time playing Call of Duty (mostly Warzone), streaming some of his games. He found out about the NBA’s season being suspended while on stream, in fact:

The Rubio and Booker pairing figures to be a good one moving forward for the Suns, and a consistent one at that. Rubio is under contract until 2022, and Booker through the 2024 season.

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