Phoenix Suns: How does Devin Booker compare to the best guards in the NBA?

Devin Booker, Phoenix Suns(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Devin Booker, Phoenix Suns(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /
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Devin Booker, Russell Westbrook, Phoenix Suns (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images)
Devin Booker, Russell Westbrook, Phoenix Suns (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images) /

How Booker Stacks Up

In the fifth season comparison, Booker (82) compares well but finished 5th overall in the group ahead of only Russell Westbrook (89), a few points back of James Harden (78.5), who was a few points back of Iverson (76), who was a few points back of Bryant (70), who was WAY behind MJ (45.5).

In this little statistical tally, the split from Bryant in second to Westbrook in 6th was 19 points, less than the 25.5 points between second and Jordan. Looking across their 5th professional season, Booker was only best in FT percentage and was last in three: offensive rebounds, steals, and turnovers. For comparison, Bryant only leads the group with the lowest number of turnovers per game, while Harden leads in three categories, Iverson three categories, and Jordan 13.

When we shift the lens from years-pro to age, it tells a slightly different story, particularly for two players, Booker and Westbrook. The split is tighter across all the players as Jordan isn’t quite as dominant but is still tops wit 51.5 points and Westbrook was still last, dropping the most by nine points to 91. Harden, Bryant, Iverson, and Booker all scored between 71.5 and 81.5, so in statistics, we’d call both Westbrook and Jordan outliers, but for different reasons.

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This is where it really gets interesting as Devin Booker compares very favorably as a 23-year-old NBA player. While only fourth out of the six in the rankings, Booker jumped Iverson (81.5) with 73 points only ½ a point behind Bryant’s 72.5 and 1.5 points behind Harden’s.

Moreover, Booker was second only to Jordan (10) ranking first in five of the 21 statistical categories and second in three. That was more than Harden’s four and Bryant’s three category wins. Booker was best in all the shooting categories – less 3-point percentage where he was fractionally behind Harden – and Devin averaged the most assists of any in the group at 23. Considering every one of them averaged 10 at one point in their career that bodes well for Booker.

Of course, this is just looking at pure performance across the numbers without getting deeper and there were two things clear about Devin Booker and his performance in comparison to the rest of these superstars. While Booker shoots better than the bunch, he also shoots a lot less.

This is where Booker is a bit different from the group. Westbrook, Iverson, Bryant, and Jordan are all volume scorers. They all averaged more attempts per game than Booker whether the same age or year. Harden, on the other hand, is a bit closer to Booker with fewer field goal attempts, but way more free throws and slightly more 3s.