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Suns’ Booker ranked 17th in ESPN’s top 25 under 25

Phoenix Suns' Devin Booker shoot baskets during a training session the day before their game against the Dallas Mavericks, at Mexico City Arena in Mexico City, Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2017. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell)

ESPN NBA analysts Amin Elhassan, Kevin Pelton and David Thorpe ranked the top 25 NBA players under 25, with Suns guard Devin Booker finishing 17th.

Of the three panelists, Elhassan ranked Booker 11th, Thorpe placed him 19th, and Pelton did not rank him. Elhassan wrote the section on the 20-year-old scorer.

Booker is enjoying a full season of an expanded role as one of his team’s primary options offensively, and he’s done a decent job of efficiently pumping in the shots.

What’s tantalizing about Booker is his age. Putting aside the quality of his team, you have to marvel at a 20-year-old averaging better than 20 points per game in the NBA. His defense leaves a lot to be desired, and a player his size should be a better rebounder, but when you buy Booker, you’re buying the immense potential he has.

Booker is averaging 20.8 points, three rebounds and three assists this season. He’s the youngest of the 33 players in the NBA scoring 20-plus points per game. He was especially good in January, averaging 25.4 points per game while shooting 46 percent from the field and 44 percent from deep.

This is not the first time Booker has received attention in national rankings. Prior to the season, Booker made the final spot on SI’s Top 100 players of 2016-17, the only teenager on the list.

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