5. Is Devin Booker a top five player?
This is a confusing question, in that there are two ways of looking at the question. Booker right now is not a top five player in the league but… he was recently voted by General Managers as the best shooting guard in the NBA.
That is not a bad place to start, and there has never been greater belief that Booker is about to ascend to a level we have not yet seen from him. If the NBA’s “bubble” was a kind of coming out party for Booker, who led the Suns to an 8-0 record, then averaging a league-leading 33.7 points in the playoffs last season was his arrival at the top tier of players.
If the Suns want to win a championship, Booker has to be a top five player by the end of the season. To do this he will have to juggle being the point guard more often than he has before. The discussion of Booker’s role on this team was recently discussed between Luke Duffy of Valley of the Suns, and Peter O’Keefe of Blue Man Hoop.
Booker is going to have to juggle more ball-handling responsibilities than ever before, which means upping his assist per game average while also putting up about 25 points per night. He is more than capable of doing this, and also has the safety of knowing Durant can take the final shot in close games if required.
Really though by the time the playoffs start, Booker needs to have definitively shown he is a better player than Jayson Tatum, and to have made it a proper discussion between himself and Luka Doncic. No pressure then for the soon to be 27-year-old.