Phoenix Suns SG Devin Booker has had quite the summer.
From gaining All-NBA first team honors to securing a massive supermax extension (with an appearance on the NBA 2K23 cover and an extension with Nike also in there), Booker has undoubtedly proved himself on and off the court.
Now, as Booker looks to remain in the top echelon of player rankings while also pushing Phoenix to a championship, ESPN has him at No. 10 in their Top 100 NBA in ESPN's Top 100 player rankings,
Dave McMenamin offered this to say on his placement:
"2021 NBArank: No. 15
"Only 25 years old and already a three-time All-Star and coming off an All-NBA selection, Booker and his silky smooth offensive game should vie for the top shooting guard status in the league for years to come.
Why he rose five spots
"Booker's ascendant year -- an NBA Finals run, followed by an Olympic gold medal and leading Phoenix to a league-best 64 wins in the regular season -- ended with a precipitous fall. The Suns were unceremoniously bounced from the second round of the playoffs, with Booker combining to shoot a combined 9-for-31 in Games 6 and 7 against Dallas.
"But Booker's 26.8 points per game last season ranked No. 12 in the league, further cementing his reputation as one of the game's most lethal scorers. However, he'll take the next step by leveraging those scoring skills in crunch time. Last season, in the first nine minutes of quarters, Booker shot 48.5% overall and 42.1% from 3. In the last three minutes of quarters? He shot 41.8% from the field and 31.8% from deep.
One huge question for 2022-23
"The Suns won a whopping 74.6% of their regular-season games over the past two seasons but are defined just as much by their flameouts as they are their success. Booker's rise to All-Star status has been largely absent of the weight of expectations. He will have to win big in the playoffs to further his place in the game.
"The question is, in today's NBA, where the top tier of superstardom is reserved for players who dominate on both ends, what room for growth remains for Booker? Offensively, he relies on finesse, angles and footwork to do his damage. Defensively, he's certainly known as a heady player who can operate within team schemes. Can he become more forceful with his stops and his scores to keep climbing up the list of the game's best?"
Here's the bottom half of ESPN's top ten:
10. Devin Booker
9. Ja Morant
8. Kevin Durant
7. Jayson Tatum
6. LeBron James
Numbers 5-1 will be revealed on Friday.
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