Free Projections + Analysis: Devin Booker

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by Eric Wong on September 11, 2017

Many people are going to be calling Devin Booker a “sleeper” for 2017-18, but serious basketball fans are already quite familiar. So the real question is: how early should you be looking to draft him this year?

Even our Basic Draft Guide includes Player Profiles + Stat Projections for 300+ players. Some sites like to take the easy way out by relying on algorithms to make their projections, but we continue to calculate by hand, going team by team, player by player, category by category.

Now let’s examine and assess this exciting young guard…

Devin Booker

Devin will only be 20 years old when this season starts (he’ll turn 21 at the end of October), but he already has the skill and swagger of a more experienced veteran. This was evident when he dropped 70 points on the Celtics last March, which was the highest scoring game since Kobe’s 81 point gem against the Raptors in 2006. Booker finished the season averaging 22.1 points and 5.7 free throw attempts, but if you throw out the Boston game, those numbers fall to 21.5 points and 5.4 FTA. Still, Devin’s ability to draw fouls is the sign of a true scorer, and his scoring average will continue to climb.

But Booker needs to become more efficient, and to do so he must get better at finishing in the paint (a below average 58% on shots inside of three feet last year) and reducing his number of long twos (which accounted for 23% of his shot attempts). And while Devin is working on his playmaking skills (a decent 3.4 assists last year), he often tries to do too much (3.1 turnovers), which resulted in a very poor 1.11 ast/to ratio (dead last among guards who handed out 200+ assists last season).

Devin also hasn’t shown much potential in terms of rebounding or forcing turnovers (just .9 steals and .3 blocks per 36 minutes), which limits his fantasy upside somewhat. At least we know the Suns are going to give him plenty of minutes (expect 36+ mpg this season) and shot attempts (a whopping 19.9 FGA after the All-Star break), so look for Booker to jump from 25th in points and 44th in threes per game, to the Top 15 in scoring and Top 25 in threes made.

Bottom Line: Booker definitely knows how to get buckets, and when his game is clicking he’s like a dynamic young hybrid of Klay + Harden + Kobe, which is pretty scary for opposing teams. His production will surely rise in 2017-18, but those expecting a major breakout year may want to pump the brakes a bit. After all, his young teammates are still learning the game (Marquese Chriss and Josh Jackson are also just 20 years old), and Devin’s efficiency has a long ways to go (his poor FG% and high turnovers are going to be very damaging). But once Booker learns the little nuances and packs on 10 more pounds of muscle (perhaps one or two seasons down the road), he’ll likely be considered one of the league’s top guards.

RotoEvil’s 2017-18 Projections for: Devin Booker
Free Fantasy Basketball Projections - Devin Booker

These free projections are being shown as images, but our Draft Guide users get access to a giant spreadsheet containing ALL of our Stat Projections, sortable by category, so you can quickly view league leaders and easily compare stats of similar players.

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