Phoenix Suns: What NBA 2K Rating Should Devin Booker Receive?

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

With the NBA’s Draft, Summer League, and free agent fire sale now fully in the rear view mirror, the Phoenix Suns and the entire league for that matter currently find themselves drudging through the offseason’s least exciting stage. Not much exists for NBA teams to do at this point aside from maybe making a last-ditch player signing or conducting a couple offseason workouts.

Several weeks still stand between the now and the start of training camp, leaving video games as  oddly enough the most viable way to experience competitive basketball for the foreseeable future.

Right on schedule, the NBA 2K team plans to release its newest game roughly two weeks from now, with all its hilarious glitches and often controversial ratings attached to it. But right now, we only know the ratings/OVR (meant to scale a player’s talent from 0-100) for a few players.

Kevin Durant, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Stephen Curry, and LeBron James all possess game-high 96 OVRs. Last year’s MVP Nikola Jokic clocks in at second place with a 95 OVR, tied with Joel Embiid and Kawhi Leonard.

But for the most part, the scores for Phoenix’s players remain undisclosed at this time. Only backup point guard Cameron Payne’s score has been made public, with the game’s outspoken digital marketing director Ronnie Singh or “Ronnie 2K” tweeting it out at him last week.

Last year, Payne averaged 8.4 points and 3.6 assists per game during the regular season. He also made waves during the playoffs with a 29-point and nine assist game against the Los Angeles Clippers. But based on the Twitter poll results posted by Ronnie 2K, the world seemed to think the game’s creators disrespected Payne with his rating. With this considered, one might expect the same thing to happen with other players for the Suns.

Being the team’s most integral star, Devin Booker immediately comes to mind as the next unfortunate casualty to go through this game’s often inaccurate and sometimes even insulting rating process. So before the NBA 2K team butchers his character for the game, Booker’s NBA 2K22 rating should  look like this.

Judging Devin Booker’s skills on a video game’s basis

At his core, Booker remains a scoring talent more than anything else, making his offense a good place to start when judging his skill level.

Last year, Booker averaged 25.6 points per game, the 13th most league-wide. But even more impressively, he finished with a better field goal percentage than nearly half of the 12 scorers averaging more than him, including MVP finalist Stephen Curry and Western Conference rival Donovan Mitchell.

Booker’s efficiency fell off though once stepping outside the 3-point arc, hitting only at 34.0 percent. He still managed to average 1.9 triples made per game, but his long-range shooting nonetheless remains a weak link attached to his otherwise unstoppable offensive arsenal.

Also for the second straight season, Booker averaged over four dimes a game with 4.3 per contest last year. But during the playoffs, he bumped those assist numbers up to 4.5 per game, mirroring his increasing scoring output as well at 27.3 points per game. Booker also included four 40+ point games during the postseason as a sweetener.

With all these intangibles considered, NBA 2K22 needs to rank Booker right around the back end of the top 10 area purely as an offensive player. His scoring numbers and field goal percentage put him up there with the best, but his 3-point shooting efficiency at this point slightly separates him from the top tier which includes Luka Doncic, Damian Lillard, Bradley Beal, Curry, and Durant.

From a defensive standpoint, Booker competes incredibly hard even though he seems to lack the natural abilities which he carries on the offensive end. He contested 5.8 shots per game last year, the 38th most amongst guards. He also finished with 4.2 rebounds per game (52nd), and 0.8 steals per game (105th). These number present Booker as an above average defender, but certainly nothing to write home about.

These defense stats still matter when evaluating a player, but from a video game’s standpoint, these moderate numbers should not weigh down on Booker’s rating at all. Similar score-first guards like James Harden and Kyrie Irving both receive 90+ OVRs seemingly every year despite their forgettable defensive skills. Trae Young also just earned an 89 OVR, even after playing as an absolute defensive liability for the Hawks last year. So let’s not bring the hammer down on Booker as a defender when everyone else seems to dodge it.

More often than not, a player’s physical traits like speed, strength, vertical matter more when rounding out their defensive scores. By those regards, Booker stacks up much better.

Although not known primarily for his speed, Booker moves incredibly well up and down the floor as a willing fast-break participant. He also took a big step forward with his strength an athleticism last year, illustrated best by his called-back dunk over Giannis during the NBA Finals.

And Devin Booker’s NBA 2K22 rating should be…

With all this coming together, the abundant good things for Booker cancel out his few weaknesses, deeming him worthy of an incredibly solid rating. The inavailability of NBA 2K22’s full player rankings report makes Booker’s placement across it difficult to forecast, but at this point, the top 11-15 range feels like a fair landing spot for him.

Based on the less desirable ratings already given to some other talented shooting guards like Zach LaVine an Beal, it feels unlikely the he will get it. But regardless, Devin Booker deserves a 91 OVR.

Right now, Jayson Tatum stands as the closest revealed player to Booker, who earned a 90 OVR to start with for the second straight year. An argument certainly can be made for Tatum’s rating to increase, but that’s for Boston fans to fight for.

Next. Ranking Phoenix Suns Backcourt Among NBA's Best. dark

As far as the game’s revealed rankings go, this places Booker as the 11th best player behind Lillard, Harden, and Doncic, who all possess 94 OVRs. That certainly remains subject to change though with numerous player OVRs still unannounced and a precarious four-point space currently between Lillard/Doncic/Harden and Tatum.