Suns Chris Paul and Devin Booker Seen as All-Star “Locks” By Media

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

The Phoenix Suns backcourt resembles a true double-edged sword, not one that pokes both inward and outward though, but instead left to right, wounding anyone nearby who tries to make a move on it.

Representing one blade, you find Chris Paul—a savvy veteran who could write you a multi-volume book series on playing the point guard position. He currently leads the league with 10.1 assists per game, and trails only four others in the steals department, where he averages 1.9 per game.

Extending out the other way, Devin Booker embodies Phoenix’s other sharp edge, slicing through defenders each night with his smooth pull-up jumpers. Right now, he averages 23.9 points, 5.3 rebounds, and 4.5 assists per game. He also currently shoots 44.0 percent from three, the sixth best mark across the league.

Anyone who watches these two cut open opposing defenses night after night knows of their All-Star worthiness, but fan voting only counts for 50.0 percent, making the Phoenix faithful only so powerful when it comes to getting their guys into the big game.

Votes casted by select media members and players make up the other half of each player’s All-Star tally, meant to add more integrity to each selection and even things out between the larger fanbases and the smaller ones.

This format might typically raise concern for Suns fans with the mainstream media frequently ignoring their team, but alas, some media members already look sold on Booker and Paul, even calling them “locks” earlier this week.

On Monday, popular ESPN analyst Zach Lowe and guest Chris Herring described their mock All-Star teams this year on his podcast The Lowe Post. The two went over their Eastern Conference teams first, but upon moving to the West, they both mentioned several players as “locks,” claiming their All-Star validity to be undisputed. Both Lowe and Herring put Paul and Booker in said category.

Although it remains unknown which media members will vote on who deserves to go to Cleveland this year, the unanimous agreement by both Lowe and Herring to include Paul and Booker as “locks” certainly bodes well for their chances.

As acclaimed media members themselves, they would not express such confidence in both Booker and Paul had they not heard of their All-Star bids as a general consensus amongst their colleagues. The reasoning behind their choice to name Paul and Booker as “locks,” which then went broadcasted across the world, might also help sway the fan vote further for those needing additional convincing before casting their ballots.

Herring first made sure to mention Paul’s steals and assist numbers, and Lowe summarized him as, “one of those guys where the advanced stats just jump off the page.” He also called the burden which Paul carries as a crunch time scorer “next level,” in further addressing how impressive his lack of turnovers remain.

Herring went on to argue that the Suns “aren’t nearly as good as they are without [Booker].” Lowe made sure to then reiterate Booker’s career-high 3-point shooting percentage, and also note his defensive improvements.

Lowe later concluded about both Paul and Booker:

"“There are lots of reasons why Phoenix is awesome, but even Monty Williams would say this on the record in interviews. Those two guys, everything the Suns are about, on offense maybe a little bit more than on defense, flows from what those two guys can do.”"

Especially with Booker having struggled to make the All-Star game during the past few seasons even despite his excellence on the court, this comes as a significant win for Suns fans campaigning on behalf of him and Paul.

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The All-Star game does not tip off until over a month from now, leaving both Paul and Booker with significant time to add to their cases. But at least for now, they appear well-positioned to represent the Suns.