Suns GM McDonough: Booker has done everything right

Jan 21, 2016, 8:00 AM
Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker, pumps his fist after scoring against the Sacramento Kings during t...

Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker, pumps his fist after scoring against the Sacramento Kings during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Saturday, Jan. 2, 2016, in Sacramento, Calif.(AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)

(AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)
LISTEN: Ryan McDonough, Suns' General Manager

While it’s only late January, this year’s NBA draft class is receiving rave reviews. Jahlil Okafor is averaging the most points per game for a rookie since Damian Lillard in the 2012-13 season, Karl-Anthony Towns looks like a future two-way monster and every week Kristaps Porzingis does something that amazes the online basketball community.

Those three players will dominate the discussion for the Rookie of the Year award, but Suns fans have to feel pretty good about their team’s selection of Devin Booker last June. That has never been more apparent than after Tuesday night’s 97-94 loss to the Indiana Pacers, in which Booker scored a career-high 32 points.

Those 32 points made Booker the third-youngest player to score 30-plus points, with the other two being LeBron James and Kevin Durant. That’s pretty good company, and Booker’s 32-point night was also the most points scored by someone under the age of 20 in franchise history, per basketball reference.

For a team that is currently 13-30, Booker’s play and progression over the course of the season has been the lone bright spot, especially considering the fact that he is currently the youngest player in the NBA.

“We’re excited about his potential and we’re excited about his future,” Suns GM Ryan McDonough said on Burns & Gambo on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM.

“He’s really done just about everything right since we’ve drafted him.”

Booker has done well with that potential and has been proving that “he’s more than just a shooter” according to McDonough.

“[His] progression is fun to see and it’s also pretty rare for a rookie, especially one who just turned 19 years old a few months ago,” said McDonough.

“We’ve been really impressed with his ability to not only make shots, but create with the threat of shooting, come off curls and finish or make plays and he’s got a tremendous basketball IQ and feel for the game for a 19-year-old kid.”

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Suns GM McDonough: Booker has done everything right