Phoenix Suns: Elevating Devin Booker for the 2021-22 Season

Phoenix Suns, Devin Booker (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Phoenix Suns, Devin Booker (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /

Phoenix Suns core shooting guard Devin Booker displayed nothing other than true excellence during the 2020-21 season. But the crazy part is—another level still exists for Booker to soon reach.

Currently, I have Booker ranked 15th overall in the NBA, sitting just above Paul George, and a spot below Kyrie Irving. Booker’s stock shot up a considerable amount recently, going from a guard thought to only have inflated stats for a losing team, all the way to Kobe Bryant comparisons.

While I do not see the Bryant comparisons, as the Black Mamba carried superior athleticism and a more defined post-game, something still remains to be said.

As a 24-year old scoring guard, Booker dropped back-to-back 40-point games during the NBA Finals. You almost never see that, even with all the scoring greats to have reached that stage before.

But still, some aspects of Booker’s game require some improvement. That starts with the following attributes.

Devin Booker Can Improve his 3-Point Shooting for the Phoenix Suns

This is what takes Booker to the next level. Shooting a mediocre 34.0 percent from 3-point range last season, Booker needs to hit from outside at a higher clip.

I saw this as a glaring weakness at times for Booker, only because he often continued to attempt them, even when struggling. Lofting up a team-high 6.8 triples per game during the Finals, Booker cost the Suns at times, as he made just 26.8 percent of them.

Booker even went 0-7 from 3-point range during Game 6 of the NBA Finals, where the Milwaukee Bucks beat the Suns, and buried them under their confetti. The whole game I prayed for Booker to try and get off some more his unstoppable mid-range shots ,but instead he opted for more threes.

I think 37.0 percent from 3-point range is not too much to ask from Booker for next season.

Not only would an improved shot from deep increase Booker’s point per game average, but it would also Phoenix’s offensive dynamic. A shot that threatens to a greater extent from outside can create more space for Booker to attack, which too creates opportunities for others when Booker beats his defender.

Devin Booker’s Playmaking Can Elevate the Phoenix Suns

Booker’s playmaking has already come a long way. Even though his assist numbers went down from the previous season though, we know that has only come as a result from him making way for Chris Paul.

On most dribble penetrations, Booker can find the open or moving man. A career 3.3 turnovers must get cleaned up, but that comes with experience.

Learning the ropes of smart passes from Paul, I am sure Booker’s decision-making and passing in the pick-and-roll will only improve.


Booker can take his game to a new level with additional strength as well. Some improved post moves could really open Booker’s game up, and especially with his tough shot-making skills already established, it could grow to be unstoppable.

But while Booker has the necessary skills to assert a post-game, such as footwork and the ability to make tough fadeaways, a bit of strength would certainly help.

The ability to back down guards easily would clear the way for teammates, possibly forcing a double team to then break down defenses with. What an absolute nightmare for an opposing defense, especially with knock down shooters still sliding around outside the perimeter like Jae Crowder and Cam Johnson.

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Final Thoughts

I do not expect Booker to add all of these skills for next season, but I believe he can over the next couple of years.

If possible, Booker can rise to a top-10 talent amongst all NBA players. Of course, for Suns fans, that means much more future success.