For a team that has not made the playoffs in each of the last five seasons, it might do the Phoenix Suns some good to draft a player with just one loss in his collegiate career.
The Suns did just that Thursday, selecting guard Devin Booker from Kentucky with the No. 13 overall pick in the first round of the 2015 NBA Draft.
The youngest player in the draft, the 18-year-old Booker was named the SEC Sixth Man of the Year in 2014-15, his freshman season with the Wildcats. He averaged 10.0 points and 2.0 rebounds in 21.5 minutes per game last season while shooting 47 percent from the field and 41.1 percent on three-pointers.
The 6-foot-6, 206-pound guard was part of the Kentucky team that won its first 38 games of the season before falling to Wisconsin in the Final Four. Six players from that team entered their names into the 2015 NBA Draft, including No. 1 overall pick Karl-Anthony Towns.
Booker is Phoenix’s first selection in the 2015 NBA Draft, as the Suns select again with the No. 44 overall selection.
Suns general manager Ryan McDonough was impressed with Booker when he came in for his draft workout June 1.
“He does have a nice, natural touch,” McDonough said.
Booker is now the fourth former Kentucky Wildcat on the Suns’ roster, joining guards Eric Bledsoe, Brandon Knight and Archie Goodwin.
“That’s not a bad thing. They’ve had a lot of success over the past couple of years,” McDonough said following Booker’s workout, referring to the Kentucky program. “It’s not something obviously we try to do. We just get the best players from wherever they come from.”