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Phoenix Suns exercise 2018-19 options on Booker, Bender and Chriss

(AP photos)

The Phoenix Suns announced Tuesday they have exercised the team options for the 2018-19 season for Devin Booker, Dragan Bender and Marquese Chriss.

The option on Booker’s contract will be the final year of his rookie contract from the 2015 NBA Draft until he either signs an extension with the team or enters restricted free agency. Booker is eligible for a five-year extension worth over $150 million that would start in the 2019-20 season.

Joel Embiid and Andrew Wiggins, two players from the draft class previous to Booker’s, agreed to five-year, $148 million extensions this summer. Suns forward T.J. Warren, from the same class, signed a four-year, $50 million extension on Sept. 25.

In his second season in the league at 20 years old, Booker led the team in scoring, averaging 22.1 points per game. His scoring numbers at such a young age only compare to the likes of LeBron James and Kevin Durant, as his scoring average at that age was the third-highest by someone 20 years old or younger.

Bender and Chriss, both top-10 picks in the 2016 NBA Draft, each have another team option for the 2019-20 season before they reach the same stage as Booker.

The 19-year-old Bender averaged 3.4 points and 2.4 rebounds a game in his rookie season after being the fourth overall selection. He played in 43 games, missing 31 because of a right ankle injury.

Chriss had a better debut year than his counterpart, posting 9.2 points and 4.2 rebounds a game while starting for a majority of the season and making the NBA All-Rookie Second Team.

The Suns begin their season on Wednesday against the Portland Trail Blazers at 7 p.m. Pregame coverage starts 30 minutes prior on 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station.


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