The Phoenix Suns selected former Kentucky guard Devin Booker with No. 13 pick in 2015 NBA draft on Thursday night at the Barclays Center.
Booker averaged 10 points, 2 rebounds and 21.5 minutes per game as a member of the Wildcats.
The 6'6" freshman shooting guard impressed scouts with his shooting ability, making 47% of his attempts from the floor, including 41% from three.
Kentucky won 38 consecutive games during the 2014–15 season, but failed to become the first college basketball team go 40–0 in a season when it lost to the Wisconsin Badgers in the Final Four.
Strengths: Booker is considered one of the best shooters in this draft class. He’s also lethal when spotting up, averaging 1.17 points per possession on that play type last season, according to Synergy Sports. But Booker showed there’s more to his game than shooting, as he successfully manufactured space and created shots off the dribble. The threat of Booker beating his man on a cut or darting into space for quick catch-and-shoot opportunity will force defenses to keep tabs on him whenever he’s on the floor. Though he didn’t create many scoring opportunities for his teammates, Booker rarely committed turnovers. His height and weight project favorably for a pro shooting guard, and as the youngest player in this draft class, he’s far from a finished product.
Weaknesses: It’s not clear if Booker has any NBA-level skills other than his shooting. At Kentucky, he was surrounded by so much talent that he functioned more as a role player than go-to scorer. Booker should inherit a similar role in the NBA, but a team looking for big-time shot creator right away may be wary of selecting him too high in this draft. Booker’s lack of defensive disruptiveness may be cause for concern. He posted a lower steal rate than every other Kentucky player who averaged at least 11 minutes per game and blocked only 0.3% of opponents’ two-point attempts, according to kenpom.com.