PHOENIX SUNS

Suns’ Devin Booker ‘confronted’ a draft analyst about his pre-draft ranking

May 16, 2020, 12:32 PM

Devin Booker poses for photos with NBA Commissioner Adam Silver after being selected 13th overall b...

Devin Booker poses for photos with NBA Commissioner Adam Silver after being selected 13th overall by the Phoenix Suns during the NBA basketball draft, Thursday, June 25, 2015, in New York. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)

(AP Photo/Kathy Willens)

Phoenix Suns shooting guard Devin Booker snuck up on just about every NBA Draft expert.

Despite being on a high-profile team at Kentucky, a loaded roster prevented Booker from showing his best skills as a ball-handler. allowing him to fall to No. 13 and the Suns in the 2015 NBA Draft.

Even in the summer league, it was immediately apparent that Booker did not have his full talents on display for the Wildcats and was much more than just a smart player with a pretty jumper.

Fast forward nearly five years and Booker is an All-Star and one of the best shooting guards on the planet.

Former ESPN NBA Draft analyst Chad Ford said on Chad Ford’s NBA Big Board Podcast that Booker took exception to being overlooked during the pre-draft process.

“I was not that high on Booker in the draft — certainly not number two, number three, number five pick,” Ford said. “And he actually confronted me about this at the NBA Combine.”

Booker was ranked 10th by Ford at the time, who cited some concerns that now seem silly.

  • Doesn’t possess elite athleticism

  • Needs to improve ball handling and getting to the rim

Athleticism hasn’t hampered Booker’s ability to create separation, and in terms of getting to the basket, Booker has shot at least 56% at the rim in all five seasons and was all the way up to 69% last season, per Cleaning the Glass.

Ford and The Athletic’s John Hollinger re-drafted that 2015 group, and had Booker go third overall behind Karl-Anthony Towns and Kristaps Porzingis, ten spots higher than the spot Phoenix got him in.

Booker has become the number one example for draft experts to point to in the past five years when it comes to a college system hiding a ball-handler’s potential, something that came up with another Kentucky product Jamal Murray two years later.

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