Devin Booker is one of the best players in the NBA. He has established himself as a dynamic scorer and fierce competitor. Who has the ability to make his teammates better. If Booker was a puzzle made up of players from the past, which players would be the pieces that make up that puzzle.
Scoring: Brandon Roy
Devin Booker has always been able to put the ball in the basket. The way in which he gets that done is very reminiscent of former Portland Trailblazer Brandon Roy. Roy played at a very controlled pace. He was not going to be rushed by the defense. Roy was very good in the pick and roll, using that play to get into the mid-range. Once in the mid-range, he had the ability to rise up over defenders with that smooth jumper.
Booker and Roy’s mid-range games are very similar. Booker and Roy also both have the ability to get to the rim and finish around and over defenders.
In Roy’s best season, 2008-09, he averaged 22.6 points per game while shooting 48% from the field. In the season where the Phoenix Suns made it to the NBA Finals, 2020-21, Booker averaged 25.6 points per game and shot 48% from the floor. The scoring similarities are scary.
Passing: Michael Jordan
Michael Jordan is considered the greatest of all time by lots of basketball fans due to his scoring and defensive abilities. He was such a dynamic scorer and winner that his ability to pass the ball gets overlooked. Jordan was a very good passer.
This is similar to Devin Booker who is a great scorer who also has the ability to set up his teammates. Jordan averaged 5.3 assists per game for his career. Booker has averaged 4.8 assists per game so far in his career. That number should increase this year as he takes on a bigger play-making role.
Jordan’s best season from an assists standpoint was 1988-89. He played point guard a lot that season which led to him averaging eight assists per game. Booker may take that type of jump in assists this year. He will help set up easy buckets for Bradley Beal and Kevin Durant.
Defense: Kobe Bryant
Kobe Bryant is one of the best on-ball defenders of all-time. There are shades of Bryant’s defensive game in Booker. Booker’s defensive prowess goes under the radar as his offensive game matures. The highlights you see from Bryant here are starting to become a part of Booker’s game.
The Suns were a top ten defense in the NBA over the last few seasons. A big part of that was the improvement of Booker’s defense.
The influence that Bryant has on many current NBA players is often attributed to the offensive end of the floor. Bryant’s influence on Booker is clearly seen on the defensive end as well. Booker may be an all-defensive team candidate this season.
Devin Booker is entering the prime of his career. This season may be the best of his career as the world will see the scoring, passing, and defense that reminds the world of past greats.