Monday September 12th, 2016

Looking for a seat on the Devin Booker hype train? If so, be prepared to squeeze in between the likes of LeBron James and Drake. The buzz around Booker, a 2015 lottery pick, has steadily climbed since he made the most of Phoenix’s lost year to average 19.2 PPG and 4.1 APG after the All-Star break. His brief cameo at the 2016 Las Vegas Summer League was met with rave reviews, as he displayed the knockdown shooting stroke that got him drafted, some nice playmaking instincts in traffic, and a fiery competitiveness that suggests he’s only just getting started. At 19, Booker is the youngest player and only teenager on this year’s Top 100, a fact that should inspire awe and caution alike. Development at this stage tends to come in fits and starts, and Booker will need to reclaim his role in Phoenix’s backcourt with veterans Eric Bledsoe and Brandon Knight back from injury. Still, Booker possesses enough natural talent, scoring ability and comfort on the ball to make betting on a sophomore breakthrough feel like a safe proposition. (Last year: Not ranked)

+ Booker’s rookie stats compare favorably to Bradley Beal’s age-19 numbers
+ Picked at No. 13, Booker ranked fourth in his class in points per game
His atrocious -3.87 Defensive Real-Plus Minus ranked 171st out of 174 guards
– Booker's 3P% tumbled hard as his usage increased after the All-Star break


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