Already the franchise record holder for points scored in a single game at 70, Devin Booker can rapidly rise up the Suns career scoring list with continued improvement, health and usage.
Walter Davis, AKA “Sweet D”, AKA “The Greyhound” (thanks, Al McCoy!) is the current Suns career scoring leader with 15,666 points. With the exception of Larry Nance, the rest of the top 10 is either in the Suns Ring of Honor or soon will be.
As mentioned in the intro, I’m making some strong assumptions in this exercise. Of course, it’s all speculation and any one of a million things could derail it. Let’s examine the assumptions I make in my projection of when Booker will become Suns career scoring leader:
- Health - Injuries will not prevent him from playing at least 70 games per season. Can never tell when injuries might plague a player, but Booker has no medical red flags at the moment. He played 76 and 78 games in his first two seasons.
- Longevity - Booker will just turn 21 when next season starts. There’s every reason to believe he can play until age 33 at the very least, another 13 NBA seasons for a total of 15. Obviously, this is dependent upon the previous assumption of his health.
- Staying with the Suns - Like health, this also falls into the “who knows what the future will bring?” category, but the relationship between Booker and the Suns organization is a love affair right now. The Suns are looking to build around him as their centerpiece, and Booker has announced his readiness to be the face of a team we all hope will develop into a contender. It’s difficult to imagine a scenario in which the Suns would trade him in the foreseeable future, and certainly not for a Blake Griffin-caliber player, as some schmuck proposed last year.
- Continued improvement in Booker’s game - Booker averaged 22.1 PPG this season, so one might say he merely needs to not regress, but no; he needs to continue to improve. Those points were scored on a team not seriously trying to win, and he won’t continue get that high usage if he can’t improve his efficiency, consistency and defense. Also, as the roster improves, he’ll likely be required to share the scoring load more than he is now.
Taken individually, each of these assumptions is reasonable. Will they all come true? I’m no Nostradamus, but let’s take a leap of faith and say they do. For this projection, I’ll forecast Booker to play 70 games per season, averaging 20 PPG.
These are conservative estimates compared to the season he just completed where he averaged 22.1 PPG in 78 games, but it’s always a good idea to allow for inevitable pitfalls along the way. Maybe he does get nicked up a bit and misses time, or the Suns acquire another explosive scorer who relegates Booker to secondary option.
When does Booker project to become the franchise career leading scorer then?
(“Age” = his age at the start of each season. “Total Points” = his career total at the end of each season. “Current” = actual numbers from this season.)
Given my not crazy, maybe even a bit conservative projections, Devin Booker will become the Suns career leading scorer early in the 2026-27 season, at age 30.
Want more? He’ll pass “Thunder” Dan Majerle’s 8,034 points to climb into the top 10 in 2021 at the tender age of 24, and then pass Dick Van Arsdale’s 12,060 into the top 5 in 2023-24, his age 27 season. Booker figures to still be in the midst of his prime when that happens. Wow.
If he keeps it up through his age 33 season, he’ll obliterate Davis’ mark, which has stood since the 1980s, by over 5,000 points. The projected 20,974 points would place Booker at #35 on the current NBA career scoring list, though it should be noted that other active players will climb up the chart as well (Kevin Durant is already at #52).
What do you think, Suns fans? Is this gonna happen? Are we watching the beginning of the most prolific scoring career in franchise history?
Will Devin Booker become Suns career leading scorer?
This poll is closed
Yes, ahead of the schedule here
Yes, but it will take longer than the schedule here
All statistics quoted courtesy BasketballReference.com