Devin Booker, Phoenix Suns agree to contract extension
Jul 7, 2018, 8:19 PM | Updated: Jul 8, 2018, 2:02 pm
(AP Photo/Darron Cummings)
Devin Booker agreed to sign a contract extension with the Phoenix Suns on Saturday, cementing himself as the face of the franchise.
“I am humbled and honored to commit to the Suns organization long term,” Booker in a release. “I have loved calling Phoenix home the last three seasons as this team and community are special to me. Thank you to the Suns for drafting me and believing in me.
“I look forward to the future and pursuing a title as a Phoenix Sun.”
According to Yahoo Sports’ Shams Charania, Booker signed a five-year, $158 million maximum extension.
He and his agent met with Suns owner Robert Sarver, general manager Ryan McDonough and president of basketball operations James Jones on Tuesday.
“We are thrilled to announce this contract extension with Devin,” McDonough said in a release. “‘Book’ has been a pillar for the Suns franchise ever since he arrived in Phoenix in 2015. Devin and the team both wanted to extend his agreement with the club as long as we possibly could.
“This agreement reflects a commitment from both parties to the Phoenix community, the state of Arizona and Suns fans worldwide.”
The 21-year-old Booker averaged 24.9 points, 4.5 rebounds and 4.7 assists per game last season, making him one of nine players in the league and the youngest to average at least 24 points, four rebounds and four assists a night.
The 13th pick in the 2015 NBA Draft, Booker’s rookie season took off after injuries to guards Eric Bledsoe and Brandon Knight. Booker went from playing more than 20 minutes in only six of the team’s first 32 games to averaging over 33 minutes a game the rest of the season en route to an All-Rookie First Team nod.
Looking to cement himself as one of the league’s best young players in year two, Booker put the entire league on notice on March 24, 2017, scoring 70 points in Boston. He set a franchise record for most points in a game while smashing his old career-high of 39, a total he reached after three quarters.
It was the 11th 70-point performance in league history and the first since 2006. That also obliterated the previous scoring record for anyone 21 years old or under (56).
That certified Booker as an up-and-coming star, and in the 2017-18 season, he proved he was not just a rising young player but one of the best shooting guards in basketball. He posted his impressive stat line in a season that had his backcourt mate, Eric Bledsoe, get traded and his head coach, Earl Watson, get fired three games into the year.
With not much talent around him, Booker was consistently seeing double teams but still managed to get his numbers. In a four-game run on the East Coast in late November, Booker averaged 34.6 points per game before an adductor injury saw him miss nine games. He would get right back to where he started in his return, posting point totals of 32, 26, 32 and 34 the first four games he was back.
Booker continued to deal with nagging injuries, though, ultimately sitting out the last 12 games of the season due to a lingering hand injury. He played in only 54 games.