PHOENIX SUNS

He’s got next: Devin Booker makes SI’s 2020 USA Olympic team

Aug 19, 2016, 10:43 AM

Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker (1) reacts to a call by an official against his team during the sec...

Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker (1) reacts to a call by an official against his team during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Miami Heat, Thursday, March 3, 2016, in Miami. (AP Photo/Alan Diaz)

(AP Photo/Alan Diaz)

The Redeem Team of the 2008 Olympics in Beijing for USA’s men’s basketball team filled with generational superstars has already lost nearly every member for the 2016 team in Rio.

Carmelo Anthony is the only player left from that team, and looking ahead to the 2020 games in Tokyo, only two members of the current team will be under the age of 30.

With more players beginning to turn down the chance to represent the United States this go-around, Sports Illustrated’s Ben Golliver attempted to figure out who’s got next, with the twist of any player from previous Olympic teams being ineligible and attempting to keep the average age of the team around what it is now – 26.8.

Despite your initial instinct to have modest expectations, the first five players on the team are simple choices that feature superstar names such as Stephen Curry and Kawhi Leonard.

Afterwards, the young superstars of the future begin to come forward, including Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker.

Booker made the list seventh, and Golliver believes he could be a feature on the team for quite some time.

This hypothetical roster is halfway home, but it needs some positional balancing. Enter Booker, a smooth-shooting teenager who projects nicely as a floor-spacer/playmaker at the two spot for Team USA. The Curry/Booker/Leonard trio has “ruthlessly efficient” potential. Like Ingram, Booker was in Las Vegas for USA Basketball this summer after performing like the best player on the court during his Summer League cameo. If he continues his ahead-of-the-curve developmental arc, the 2015 lottery pick has a chance to be a USAB mainstay.

That positional balancing Golliver mentions ties into the starting lineup, where Booker starts alongside Curry, Leonard, Jabari Parker and Andre Drummond.

The most interesting tidbit comes at the end, though, where Golliver follows the hypothetical of all-time Olympic greats LeBron James and Kevin Durant coming back for one last run in 2020 and figuring out who else would play alongside them in Japan.

PG: Curry, Irving, Wall
SG: George, Booker
SF: James, Leonard, Ingram
PF: Durant, Parker
C: Drummond, Turner

Booker is one of six players from the all-rookie team to make it in and more importantly is the only shooting guard selected to the team. That’s a compliment to Booker and a look into the future of the position, one Booker could find himself near the top of if all goes well.

Phoenix Suns

Bradley Beal #3 of the Phoenix Suns brings the ball up court against the Charlotte Hornets during t...

Kellan Olson

Bradley Beal leads big-time Suns response in ugly win vs. Kings

For as much as the last two games looked like the Suns calling it a day on the 2023-24 season, they had at least one more fight left in them.

1 hour ago

Devin Booker #1 and head coach Frank Vogel of the Phoenix Suns...

Arizona Sports

NBA playoff standings: Suns can still avoid play-in with 1 game left

Where are the Phoenix Suns in the Western Conference standings? They're fighting for playoff positioning and hoping to avoid the play-in.

2 hours ago

...

Arizona Sports Video

Video: Bickley Blast: Something feels very different with Devin Booker and the Suns

On the latest Bickley Blast, Dan Bickley asks if a Devin Booker trade request is in the near future.

15 hours ago

(L-R) Ish Wainright #12, Isaiah Thomas #4, Drew Eubanks #14 and David Roddy #21 of the Phoenix Suns...

Damon Allred

Isaiah Thomas: ‘The world knows how scary’ Phoenix Suns can be in playoffs

Isaiah Thomas joined Burns & Gambo on Thursday to talk about the final week of the regular season and the fight for postseason positioning.

1 day ago

Karl-Anthony Towns posts up Kevin Durant...

Damon Allred

Timberwolves’ Karl-Anthony Towns expected to make return before regular season finale vs. Suns

Timberwolves' Karl-Anthony Towns is on track to return from a torn meniscus on Friday when the Wolves match up against the Atlanta Hawks.

1 day ago

...

Arizona Sports Video

Video: Bickley Blast: Can a Phoenix Suns playoff run can force this team to reconcile its issues?

Despite the bad vibes surrounding the Phoenix Suns, Dan Bickley debates if an NBA playoff run can be the determining factor in what makes or breaks this team's underlying issues.

2 days ago

He’s got next: Devin Booker makes SI’s 2020 USA Olympic team