The 2023-24 NBA season is almost upon us, with the Phoenix Suns having already had a memorable media day, as well as an overtime preseason win away to the Detroit Pistons. The start of what they hope will be a season that leads to a first ever championship.
Suns’ superstar Devin Booker is entering this campaign having averaged a league high 33.7 points per game during last year’s playoffs. At 26-years-old, he looks like a man who is just entering his prime and is extremely comfortable being the man in The Valley, even if Kevin Durant is on the roster.
Which is why it is no surprise to see Booker land on the NBA’s annual GM survey ahead of the new season, in one of the most coveted positions.
Rival General Managers are asked questions ahead of the new season each year, and the results are always fascinating. This year is no different, and the questions in full are most certainly worth a read. Although only seven percent of those polled thing the Suns will actually go ahead and win it all… thanks Charles Barkley.
It is a different story for Booker personally however, with GMs voting Booker the best shooting guard in the league today. Obviously your opinion on what a shooting guard is and who qualifies (Stephen Curry got plenty of votes for example) can vary, but the fact Booker is on this list at all is huge.
This basically means he is seen as one of the five best players in the league, and while there may be overlap at the top between centers like Nikola Jokic and Joel Embiid, this is exactly where Booker should be entering this phase of his career.
What makes this even sweeter is the fact Booker beat out Luka Doncic, Anthony Edwards and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander to this spot. Hugely impressive given the calibre of those three, and even better with Doncic and the Dallas Mavericks having become a legitimate rival to the Suns in recent years.
Booker didn’t receive any votes to win the MVP award for this coming season, but that should still be one of the goals. Durant has already said that this is Booker’s team, and the newly added Bradley Beal isn’t going to have any problem with that either. At this point, Booker likely takes the last shot with the game on the line as well.
This is just the kind of confidence boost Booker not needs but will surely enjoy seeing with the new campaign now only weeks away. Not only that, but Booker also topped this survey last season, proving that he is in a league of his own amongst players like Donovan Mitchell and Jamal Murray.
Booker also received the fourth most votes total across all five positions, which again just shows his importance to this Suns franchise. If you were looking to trade players straight up in this league, there are very few who you would give Booker up for.
This solid foundation ensures the Suns will remain competitive even after Durant has left town, and he can be the face of the next version of this team down the road. That is all to be worried about another time though, as for now the near 30 points per night on 35.6 percent shooting from deep are of much more use to the organization.
One final wrinkle here which hasn’t even been considered is the fact Booker is going to spend more time than most traditional shooting guards running the show this season as well. He wasn’t listed as a point guard – but had he been – Booker would have still made a run at attempting to dethrone Curry in this area. The league is on notice, and the GMs know how special Booker is.