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ESPN ranks Suns’ Devin Booker among top 100 NBA players

Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker gestures after he scored a basket, as fans cheer him at TD Garden in the fourth quarter of the Suns' NBA basketball game against the Boston Celtics, Friday, March 24, 2017, in Boston. Booker scored 70 points, but the Celtics wonp 130-120. Booker is just the sixth player in NBA history to score 70 or more points in a game. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)

The 2018 NBA season is getting closer, and Devin Booker of the Phoenix Suns has continued to receive national recognition.

ESPN continued their top 100 countdown with players ranked Nos. 51-75, and Booker came in at No. 60. The Suns shooting guard is ranked just ahead of San Antonio Spurs shooting guard Danny Green and just behind Detroit Pistons shooting guard Avery Bradley.

After being ranked No. 46 last season, the 20-year-old Booker has dropped 14 spots. Here is what ESPN said about Booker.

Only four players in NBA history — LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Shaquille O’Neal and Kyrie Irving — averaged more points as a 20-year-old than Booker did last season as he pumped in 22.1 points per game. Despite the historic scoring for a player his age, Booker actually slipped 14 spots in our rankings. If you’re wondering why, defense is a good place to start. Booker ranked near the bottom among shooting guards in Defensive Real Plus-Minus last season.

Entering his third season in the league, nobody will doubt Booker’s ability to score and create his own shot. In 154 career games, he has averaged 18 points per game while shooting 42.3 percent from the floor. Booker averaged 13.1 points during his rookie year in 2015-16 but took his game to a whole new level last year. Booker started all 78 games he played and averaged 22.1 points per game.

The highlight of Booker’s sophomore campaign came in March against the Celtics at T.D. Garden in Boston. That evening, Booker became the sixth player in NBA history to score at least 70 points in a 130-120 win. Booker’s 70- point output set a new franchise record.

Suns point guard Eric Bledsoe has not been ranked yet in this year’s edition. In 2016, Bledsoe came in at No. 43.

The Suns begin training camp on Sept. 26 at Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff.

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