PHOENIX SUNS

It would appear Devin Booker is a top-10 player in ESPN’s NBArank

Sep 21, 2022, 9:27 AM

Devin Booker #1 of the Phoenix Suns reacts during the first half of Game One of the Western Confere...

Devin Booker #1 of the Phoenix Suns reacts during the first half of Game One of the Western Conference First Round NBA Playoffs at Footprint Center on April 17, 2022 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Three Phoenix Suns players so far have been listed in the four-part reveal of ESPN’s annual NBArank, but a moment before we get to that trio.

Devin Booker has not been revealed as of Wednesday morning, when players ranked from 100th to 11th have been named.

Considering he ranked 15th heading into last season before putting together an All-NBA First Team campaign, it seems safe to say he did not get left out the top-100.

He should be in the top-10. Where exactly will have to wait for Thursday (10th through sixth will be revealed) or Friday (the top-five will be announced).

Booker averaged 26.8 points, 5.0 rebounds and 4.8 assists per game last season.

As for his Suns teammates already revealed on the NBArank list: Chris Paul fell from No. 13 before last season to 21st this one.

The 8.8 points, 6.3 assists and 2.8 turnovers averaged in a seven-game Western Conference Semifinals series against the Dallas Mavericks are cited by ESPN reporter Dave McMenamin as cause for concern that the 37-year-old could have hit a wall.

But also:

Why he could exceed his ranking in 2022-23: Count out CP3 at your own risk. Remember when ESPN BPI gave the Oklahoma City Thunder just a 0.2% chance of making the playoffs in Paul’s lone season with the franchise and he led them to a 44-38 record and Game 7 in the first round against the Houston Rockets?

Mikal Bridges (49th) and Deandre Ayton (51st) fell in line behind Paul in NBArank.

Bridges received a 17-spot bump from 66th the year before, while Ayton fell significantly from 35th.

Falling just short of winning the NBA Defensive Player of the Year award, Bridges averaged 14.2 points and 2.3 assists per game, both career-highs.

Ayton’s dropoff isn’t surprising. Last year, he was coming off one of the best playoff debuts for a big man in NBA history. This year, his postseason performances were used as a scapegoat for a team that as a whole didn’t look like itself after a 64-win regular season.

In the preseason exercise, more than 200 reporters, editors, producers and analysts are asked repeatedly which of two players will have a better 2022-23 season, and the results were ordered into the top-100 list.

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