Devin Booker
Devin Booker
22-Year-Old GuardG
Phoenix Suns
2019 Fantasy Outlook
Booker burst onto the scene as a sophomore in 2016-17, averaging 22.1 points per game as a 20-year-old, not to mention dropping 70 points on the Celtics. His game has continued to evolve since then, improving his efficiency and becoming a better distributor. Booker reached a career-high 46.7 FG% last season despite a 5.7 percent dip from beyond the arc. He also spent a career-high 15 percent of his minutes at point guard in 2018-19 and averaged a career-high 6.8 assists in the process. However, with the Suns signing Ricky Rubio during the offseason, it's possible Phoenix envisions Booker as more of a pure scorer than a combo guard, so we may see his assists decrease. Booker has had no problem scoring the ball, and he racked up 21 performances with at least 30 points last season, plus two 50-point outings. While Booker's role seems to be in a slight flux, he's unquestionably the No. 1 option on the Suns, and he should continue being one of the most high-usage players in the league. Read Past Outlooks
$Signed a five-year, $158.05 million contract extension with the Suns in July of 2018.
Will play Monday
GPhoenix Suns
October 14, 2019
Booker (rest) will play Monday against Denver, Kellan Olson reports.
After resting for Saturday's preseason contest against Portland, Booker appears ready to go for the Suns' only preseason matchup this week. Booker tallied 15 points and five assists in his first exhibition game against Minnesota on Oct. 9.
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
Injuries dampened what was otherwise another outstanding season for Booker, as he took the floor for just 54 games due to hand and groin injuries in 2017-18. When he was healthy and on the court, Booker was once again an elite scorer, posting a career-high 24.9 points per game, which was up from 22.1 a year prior and also placed him 10th in the entire league. That slight uptick in scoring was likely due to increased efficiency. Booker shot 43.2 percent from the field, 38.3 percent from three-point range and 87.8 percent from the free-throw line, all of which were the best numbers of his career. He added 4.5 rebounds and 4.7 assists, while finishing 12th in the league with 2.7 three-pointers made. That production made him one of the elite shooting guards in the league and that isn't expected to change heading into the upcoming season. The Suns selected center Deandre Ayton with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2018 NBA Draft and while that's another mouth to feed offensively, he'll actually likely help draw defenses away from Booker and should allow him to keep his efficiency up with another year of solid percentages. Booker also just signed a max five-year, $158 million contract extension, so the Suns have committed to him long term and the are going to continue to rely on him as the team's go-to option offensively. With all that said, Booker will be a top-tier shooting guard option on draft day and will likely come off the board in the first three or four rounds or so of most Fantasy formats.
Booker was one of the lone bright spots for the 24-58 Suns last season, leading the team in points per game (22.1) and usage percentage (28.6). 2016-17 was a breakout campaign for the now 20-year-old, raising his numbers essentially across the board as a result of his workload jumping from 27.7 minutes to 35.0 minutes per game. Impressively, despite being asked to carry such an increased share of the offense, Booker remained almost equally efficient from his rookie to his sophomore campaign, his effective field-goal percentage dropping just a hair from 48.0 to 47.5. We can’t talk about Booker without mentioning his stunning 70-point outing, however. On March 24, 2016, in a loss to the Celtics, Booker dropped 70 points (21-40 FG, 4-11 3Pt, 24-26 FT), eight rebounds, six assists, three steals and one block across 45 minutes. While the team wasn’t exactly subtle about giving Booker as many opportunities as possible to stack his point total, the feat remains incredibly impressive and was a historic Fantasy moment. It also highlights his big-game potential, as he racked up 14 games last season with at least 30 points. Overall, with the Suns still rebuilding heading into next season, there should be no shortage of touches for Booker and it seems safe to assume he’ll, at the very least, hover around his averages from 2016-17. While he’s not an elite rebounder, passer or defender at shooting guard, there are few players at his position that will likely see the kind of usage and free-reign on offense that he garners.
Considering he entered last season as the NBA’s youngest player and was playing behind a talented starting backcourt of Eric Bledsoe and Brandon Knight, Booker was never expected to fill a major role for the Suns as a rookie. However, with both Bledsoe and Knight going down with long-term injuries by midseason, Booker was bumped into the starting five and to the surprise of many, almost immediately thrived. Over a 47-game stretch from January through the end of the season, Booker averaged an impressive 18.3 points, 3.7 assists, 3.2 rebounds and 1.7 three-pointers in 35.0 minutes per game. With few playmakers in the lineup alongside him, Booker’s efficiency unsurprisingly took a hit, but he still finished the year with a 34.3 percent mark from three-point range, an impressive achievement for a 19-year-old. While Booker was touted as one of the best shooters in his draft class, he showed some ability to distribute the ball as the season progressed, suggesting he’s not merely just a long-range specialist. He’ll likely see his usage take a step back in 2016-17 as he moves back into a sixth-man role now that Bledsoe and Knight are entering the season at full health, but Booker’s percentages should take a leap forward while he works off the ball more often. The future is clearly bright for Booker, who could ultimately unseat P.J. Tucker as the starting small forward if he’s able to add muscle on his 6-foot-6 frame and make some improvements on the defensive end.
The Suns were thrilled to grab the rookie out of Kentucky with the 13th overall pick in the 2015 draft. Booker is arguably already the Suns' best three-point shooter, and it wouldn't be a surprise if he ends up as one of the better marksmen in the league by season's end. The 6-6 swingman shot a scorching 53 percent from three as a freshman last season, with three-pointers accounting for more than half of his field goal attempts. A true two-guard in every sense of the word, Booker is most comfortable in the backcourt, but he'll likely see considerable time at small forward given the Suns' already-strong guard tandem of Eric Bledsoe and Brandon Knight. It should be a relatively easy adjustment for Booker offensively, but he could struggle on the other end keeping up with bigger wings. After a strong Las Vegas Summer League showing, Booker figures to be a part of the regular rotation from day one. He probably won't start as a rookie, but his three-point stroke will be tough to keep off the floor, and his game fits nicely with coach Jeff Hornacek's fast-paced system. From a fantasy standpoint, Booker projects to be a nice source for three-pointers, but he may not offer much else. He didn't show much potential as a rebounder at Kentucky, though he wasn't really asked to do so, and he won't play on the ball enough to generate significant assist numbers.
More Fantasy News
Resting Saturday
GPhoenix Suns
October 12, 2019
Booker will rest for Saturday's preseason action against Portland, Kellan Olson of reports.
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Strong shooting in preseason opener
GPhoenix Suns
October 9, 2019
Booker collected 15 points (4-8 FG, 1-2 3Pt, 6-7 FT), five assists and four rebounds across 21 minutes during the Suns' 111-106 preseason win over the Timberwolves on Tuesday.
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Will share playmaking with Rubio
GPhoenix Suns
September 30, 2019
Coach Monty Williams said Monday that both Booker and Ricky Rubio will handle the ball for the Suns this season, Kellan Olson of 98.7 FM Arizona Sports reports.
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Out for season
GPhoenix Suns
April 4, 2019
Booker (ankle) will be shut down for the final three games of the season, Jordan Schultz of reports.
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X-rays negative on ankle
GPhoenix Suns
April 3, 2019
X-rays came back negative on Booker's sprained left ankle, Shams Charania of The Athletic reports.
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