Devin Booker is the face of the Phoenix Suns’ franchise and may end up being their greatest player in their history.
It is not a surprise to see the player he has developed into. Book was an All-NBA first-team selection last season and has continued to improve into his eighth season.
So far, the Suns’ All-Star guard has averaged 32.5 points per game – good for fifth in the league – along with 5.8 assists and 3.0 rebounds. It has only been four games but he is also shooting a career-best 53.0 percent from the field and 48.0 percent from 3-point range.
After Phoenix’s 134-105 win over the Golden State Warriors Tuesday night, Suns coach Monty Williams went as far as calling Booker “probably the most complete player in the league right now.”
“There are no weaknesses in his game and he’s scoring everywhere,” Williams said. “He’s scoring in the post, he’s scoring from three, he’s scoring off the dribble, he’s been attacking the rim, getting to the basket, transition and really efficient.”
Booker’s efficiency has been incredible so far. He ranks No. 10 in the NBA in player efficiency rating (30.66) and has the highest plus/minus of any player at plus-63.
Devin Booker this season:— Hoop Central (@TheHoopCentral) October 26, 2022
35 Points, 4 Assists, 62% FG
33 Points, 3 Assists, 48% FG
28 Points, 9 Assists, 50% FG
34 Points, 7 Assists, 53% FG pic.twitter.com/AXD0Ydnug7
Booker had his third straight 30-plus point game against the Warriors, finishing with 34 points, seven assists, three steals and two rebounds while shooting 10-of-19 from the field (3-of-8 from 3-point range).
He spoke after the game on Williams’ comments.
“I am just trying to get better at my craft and perfect it,” Booker said. “As you guys know there is no perfect in this game, it is an ongoing pursuit for life. Even when I am retired and done, I will still be hooping. My dad still plays every day, four times a week. It is just in our blood. That is the beauty of this game, you can’t perfect it.”
Booker had a moment in the game where he was talking trash with Warriors guard Klay Thompson, who he was compared to when he was drafted out of Kentucky in 2015. Thompson appeared to say, “four rings,” alluding to the four championships he has won with Golden State.
"They have 4 rings. Repeated over and over. And they do. And they do."— Ballislife.com (@Ballislife) October 26, 2022
Devin Booker talks about Klay Thompson's trash-talking and how much respect he has for him after Klay's first career ejection. pic.twitter.com/QpJk3OVW7C
However, Booker had the standout game against the Warriors Tuesday. Thompson finished 0-of-4 and 0-of-3 from 3-point range with Booker as his primary defender before he was ejected in the third quarter.
“Just two competitors. In my postgame interview I said it, I love Klay Thompson. I have for a really long time. That does not excuse us from being competitors and talking to each other. I have always admired his game, how he plays on both sides of the ball. Obviously, the rings speak for themselves, but I am going to bring it every time.”
Booker’s impact has continued to impress Suns point guard and one of his mentors, Chris Paul.
“He’s doing a great job of playing with pace, moving the ball and just the way the ball moves,” Paul said. “It’s giving him the opportunity to attack in different ways. He’s handling the ball, give him a pick-and-roll. He’s catching and shooting 3s. He’s catching in transition. He’s attacking. I think the way we’re playing as a team is giving him the opportunity to show his full arsenal of what he can do.”
And Williams added: “He’s just playing at a really high level and intentional about it. I don’t think it’s forced at all. A lot of his offense is out of our stuff. Every once in a while, he’s got to go into his bag to get off a shot, but for the most part, it’s just been within the scheme of what we’re trying to do in our offense.”