3 goals for the Phoenix Suns’ Devin Booker for the 2023-24 season.
3. Avoid major injury.
This sounds obvious, because after all no player who steps on a court plans on getting injured. But the importance of Booker to avoid this if he can, and generally this is out of the control of a player, is two-fold.
The first reason Booker needs to stay healthy is simply because he has spent his first eight seasons having avoided the kind of setback that has seen him miss a significant amount of time. He is built like a James Harden type, durable and capable of surviving the rigours of a regular season.
Booker will like all player miss some contests, but for nearly a decade now he has been good for nearly 70 games a season for five out of his eight years in the league. All it takes is that first major setback to have a disastrous knock-on effect, and the longer Booker can survive that happening, the better he is going to be for the Suns.
Even more importantly though, Durant is 34-years-old and has had his fair share of injuries and surgeries at this point. This came to a head when he tore his achilles in the 2018-19 NBA Finals, forcing him to miss an entire season. Durant hasn’t been the same since, and hasn’t played over 55 games in a season either.
He cannot be relied upon in the same way Booker can, and the same is becoming true of Beal. Now 30 himself, he had wrist issues to begin last season and is starting to pick up the kind of knocks that Booker has to this point avoided. You can be sure Durant and Beal are going to miss a fair few games next season, which is why it is crucial that Booker plays as many as possible.