Devin Booker’s biggest knock is that the Phoenix Suns don’t win enough. However, he is rocketing up to be the best shooting guard in the league.
Bleacher Report released their list of the top 15 shooting guards this season and landing at the five spot was Phoenix Suns frontman, Devin Booker.
Their complete list:
15) Danny Green
14) Tim Haraway jr.
13) Evan Fournier
12) Buddy Hield
11) Marcus Smart
10) Zach LaVine
9) C.J. McCollum
8) Donovan Mitchell
7) Shai Gilgeous-Alexander
6) Jaylen Brown
5) Devin Booker
4) Jrue Holiday
3) Bradley Beal
2) Paul George
1) James Harden
Devin Booker has a chance to become a legend for the Phoenix Suns.
This is a well deserved showing for Booker. You can make the argument he deserves the 3rd or 4th spot, but breaking the top five is solid, for now. Becoming the #1 shooting guard in the league is a feat that can be conquered by Booker.
The shooting guard position has always been super thin at depth but held together through the decades by greats like George Gervin, Michael Jordan (the GOAT), Kobe Bryant, Dwayne Wade, and after Wade’s three-year retirement, Klay Thompson. There should not be a top 15, 10, or even 5 shooting guard list. It’s fun to ponder and argue, but there should only be one player and one name. Booker is next in to own that spot, but when will that day come?
Experimenting with “Point Book” at the beginning of the 2018-2019 season looked too soon take Devin Booker out of the two-spot and permanently situate him at the point. Then the signing of Ricky Rubio halted the experiment for the moment and gave Booker the break needed to save energy and also learn from Rubio.
Under special circumstances, when winning didn’t matter with the Phoenix Suns organization, Booker had three to four seasons to really work on his craft. He was in the perfect situation to upgrade his play-making ability one turnover after the next until midway through the 2019-2020 season when he really started to figure things out. Statistically maybe not, but the eye test showed that he was headed the right direction by slowing down and making the right decision on the floor.
Looking at the list, there is not much competition in Booker taking over first place after next year. The only true shooting guards that compare to what Booker will evolve into the next couple of years are Bradley Beal and Klay Thomson. Beal has the fear that when he has the ball, the opposing teams’ fans are grasping each other’s necks shouting for a double team. The same can be said about Klay along with his effort on the defensive end.
Leadership on the court and the effort on defense will widen the gap between him and the next closest at the shooting guard position, just like the greats in the past.