PHOENIX SUNS

There’s a chance: Bovada gives Suns’ Booker slim odds of winning MVP

Aug 15, 2018, 11:33 AM | Updated: 4:03 pm

(AP Photo/David Zalubowski)...

(AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

(AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

A couple weeks back, The Ringer’s Kevin O’Connor projected a potential leap for Suns guard Devin Booker this coming season.

O’Connor listed Booker as a darkhorse MVP candidate. He also presented the realistic chances of Booker earning MVP — they’re very low because MVPs, by unwritten rule, must be on winning basketball teams.

Turns out, O’Connor wasn’t alone by listing Booker’s chances at an MVP as existent.

Bovada’s official MVP odds were released Wednesday, and Booker cracked the 30-player list with 275/1 odds of winning the award.

Booker won’t turn 22 years old until a few weeks into the 2018-19 season, and surrounded by relatively more NBA-level talent — albeit young talent — this season, the thought is another offseason of development combined with an upgraded roster around him might push him into All-Star status.

After all, Booker was already a big-numbers, bad-team producer. He averaged 24.9 points, 4.7 assists and 4.5 rebounds per game in 2017-18, appearing in just 54 games before injuries caught up to him. He shot 43 percent and 38 percent from three-point range, not bad on a team that after T.J. Warren was mostly devoid of offensive threats.

This summer, Booker earned an invite to USA Basketball training camp and was the youngest participant in the national squad practices. It was another sign that another big step forward is coming.

That said, oddsmakers in Las Vegas have set Phoenix’s over/under for wins in 2018-19 at 28.5, which explains Booker’s unlikely shot at pushing for an MVP bid.

Should the Suns begin looking like they’ll exceed that number even a little bit, it’ll be the shooting guard earning All-Star hype amid a Western Conference perimeter group that includes James Harden, Stephen Curry, Russell Westbrook, DeMar DeRozan, Jimmy Butler, Chris Paul and Damian Lillard.

All of those players have better odds than Booker to win MVP, per Bovada.

But just making an All-Star team among that company would be enough to confirm that Booker has arrived.

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