Not much was expected of Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker in 2015-16.
The Suns selected Booker 13th overall out of Kentucky and the youngest player in the draft came to a team with plenty of options at the guard position.
However, a rash of injuries opened up playing time and Booker responded well.
Well enough, in fact, to finish fourth in the NBA Kia Rookie of the Year voting released Monday morning.
Minnesota’s Karl-Anthony Towns was a unanimous selection, garnering all 130 first-place votes. New York’s Kristaps Porzingis (363 points) and Denver’s Nikola Jokic (49 points) both also finished ahead of Booker, who received two second-place votes and 40 third-place tallies.
Booker played in 76 games as a rookie, starting 51. He averaged 13.8 points per game — a figure that rose to 17.4 points a night as a starter. The 6-foot-5 guard had six games of 30 or more points on the season, including a career-high 35 in a loss to the Denver Nuggets on March 10. He led the Suns with 1,048 points.
Booker is the first member of the Suns to receive Rookie of the Year votes since center Robin Lopez finished tied for ninth in the 2008-09 balloting. Phoenix has had three rookies win the award in their 48-year history: Alvan Adams (1976-76), Walter Davis (1977-78) and Amar’e Stoudemire (2002-03).
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