Last week, Suns coach Earl Watson said Devin Booker was “One of the most gifted players (he’s) ever seen.”
After becoming just the third player in NBA history to average at least 20 points and two attempts from beyond the arc before turning 21 years old, with Kevin Durant and LeBron James being the other two, it is entirely possible we see Booker take the next step up in his third year in the NBA.
According to Kellan Olson of ArizonaSports.com, Booker’s three-point statistics could mirror Stephen Curry and Ray Allen’s third-year jumps this season.
There’s evidence to back up that Booker’s jump in three-point shooting percentage is coming. Per Basketball-Reference, of the players to average at least 15 points per game since 2006, five of the top-10 in that group ranked by their three-point percentage had shooting numbers well under their career averages in the beginning of their careers.
Career 37.8 percent three-point shooter Durant shot 28.8 percent from deep in his rookie year. Former Sun and career 37 percent three-point shooter Jason Richardson shot 33.3, 36.8 and 28.2 percent in his first three seasons, respectively.
Even Ray Allen, arguably the best three-point shooter of all-time outside of Stephen Curry, had underwhelming 36.4 and 35.6 three-point shooting percentages in his second and third years as he adjusted to becoming a team’s primary option offense.
Booker might not be as good of a shooter as Allen, but his 34.3 and 36.3 three-point shooting percentages from his first two seasons should be some of the lowest of his career like they were for the future Hall of Famer.
As a whole, Olson believes the former Kentucky star is absolutely primed for a breakout season.
While juniors in college undergo the second half of their college experience, Booker is ready to become the player that ends the Suns’ playoff and championship drought. He’s ready to prove he’s not just the kid who scored 70 points — he’s the kid who is the next great player at his position and ready to eventually stake a claim as the world’s current best individual scorer.
Booker was recently listed as FanSided’s No. 9 player in the NBA under the age of 25. Kevin Durant recently told reporters, “You better watch out for (Booker) because he is nice. He’s next, I’m telling you.” LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, and Dwyane Wade have also come out and vouched for the former Kentucky star.
Get ready, BBN. Devin Booker is about to hit superstardom.