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Suns’ Devin Booker ranks in ESPN’s top 10 NBA stars under 25

(AP Photo/Brandon Dill)

The Phoenix Suns are a young team.

In fact, they boast one of the youngest rosters in the league. Of course that means there are a lot of questions about the direction of the franchise moving forward.

But one young player who falls into the ‘answer’ column as opposed to the ‘question’ one is third-year guard Devin Booker.

The former first-round pick has continued his development in all areas of his game. He’s become a better defender, a more efficient shooter and has even branched out in his play-making duties, often running the point for the Suns’ offense.

He’s still only 21 years of age.

In a league full of young talent, Booker ranks among the game’s brightest under-25 stars, according to ESPN.com. A three-person panel comprised of Kevin Pelton, Bobby Marks and Chris Herring each ranked their top 25 NBA players that fit the age criteria, and Booker landed tied for ninth place on the list.

Marks wrote:

Put Booker on a team competing for a playoff spot, and the 21-year-old would likely be in consideration for All-NBA honors while earning a spot in last month’s All-Star Game. While Phoenix is headed to the lottery once again, Booker has emerged as one of the top shooting guards in the NBA. Not only is he averaging a career-best 25 PPG, but he’s doing so as teams continue to devise game plans against him.

Booker currently ranks ninth in the league in scoring and has posted 21 games of 30 or more points this season — which is tied for the fourth-most with James Harden of Houston and Portland’s Damian Lillard.

The Kentucky product has done this while improving his field goal percentage, three-point shooting, effective field goal percentage, rebounding, assists and free throw shooting.

Booker is tied on ESPN’s list with Utah’s Donovan Mitchell, a rookie who is actually 53 days older.

The list was topped by Milwaukee’s freak of nature, Giannis Antetokounmpo. The top five was rounded out by New Orleans big man Anthony Davis, Philadelphia’s Joel Embiid, Minnesota’s Karl-Anthony Towns and Denver center Nikola Jokic.