Phoenix Suns: Devin Booker belongs in the same conversation as Jayson Tatum – Valley of the Suns

Phoenix Suns, Devin Booker. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports
Devin Booker has proven himself one of the best players in the league after multiple seasons of consistent production. At just 25 years of age, the Phoenix Suns superstar is still on the rise.
Booker may have elevated himself to an All-Star berth in each of the last three seasons, yet according to those inside the league, the former Kentucky product still holds a waiting alley outside the absolute elite company of young players.
ESPN recently produced a survey asking league insiders a host of questions heading into next season. This included a study of who they think will be the best player in five years time. Two-time MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo received seven votes, Dallas Mavericks’ Luka Doncic received five votes, and Jayson Tatum received two.
No one should question the top two – Antetokounmpo is already considered by most as the best player right now, while Doncic’s opening four seasons have been as good as any in recent history. The dispute here is why Booker isn’t in the same echelon as Tatum?
Jayson Tatum and Devin Booker, Phoenix Suns (Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images)
Most would consider the 24-year-old to be the more accomplished young player – why? It can’t be from the simple raw box score numbers – Tatum averaged 0.1 points per game more last season, yet Booker produced his points on far greater efficiency from the field and three-point range. Tatum is a better rebounder but also turns the ball over more, while Booker averaged more assists last season.
Both players have appeared in an NBA Finals and had special moments in the postseason, yet both have come up short on other occasions as well. Most would look at Tatum’s defensive ability as the key differentiator here – a reasonable argument to make. However, Booker was a key improver in this area last season, with Tatum shading him 4.6 to 3.4 in defensive win shares.
I think most of this perspective emanates from the idea Tatum still has a lot of growth in his game. Perhaps people believe Booker has hit his prime, while the fact he never made the playoffs before Chris Paul is potentially an element at play.
Few are arguing that Booker can elevate into the best player in the game. Still, is Tatum > Booker a clear cut case with no opposing argument? There on the same level right now, and it’s not a fait accompli that Tatum climbs above in coming years.
Build your custom FanSided Daily email newsletter with news and analysis on Phoenix Suns and all your favorite sports teams, TV shows, and more.
Your favorite teams, topics, and players all on your favorite mobile devices.
© 2022 Minute Media – All Rights Reserved. The content on this site is for entertainment and educational purposes only. All advice, including picks and predictions, is based on individual commentators’ opinions and not that of Minute Media or its related brands. All picks and predictions are suggestions only. No one should expect to make money from the picks and predictions discussed on this website. For more information, please read our Legal Disclaimer. If you or someone you know has a gambling problem, call 1-800-GAMBLER.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *