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Devin Booker

Opinion: Devin Booker will ALWAYS be the first option

Opinion: Devin Booker will ALWAYS be the first option

Opinion: Devin Booker will ALWAYS be the first option

Opinion: Devin Booker will ALWAYS be the first option

Before I begin this article, let me preference a couple of things. Number one, I love Kevin Durant and I am not undermining him in the slightest by calling him the second option. Number two, it shouldn’t be viewed as the first option and second option, when talking about those two players, I’ll explain later in the article. Lastly, number three, both have a role that compliments each other (and the team) beautifully. Again, that’ll be explained later in the article.

This has been a huge topic of discussion and argument as there are people that believe Durant should be the first option while others don’t believe that. In today’s article, I will be breaking down why Devin Booker is the listed first option and why we shouldn’t care about options when speaking about these two.

While that may seem confusing now, it won’t be at the end of this article.

His work proves it all

Devin Booker, despite the criticism these talking heads and supposed “fans of the game” are spewing, has been able to lead the Suns to success and higher opportunities. Give him a few pieces to play with and you’ll find out the true talent of Devin Booker for Phoenix.

His usage rate is 31.9% with his scoring efficiency is beyond the roof with 27 points cobbling that together with 5.8 assists and 4 rebounds. Those are his stats per game in 34.2 minutes. Plus, his shooting percentage is 48.1% from the field.

That is significant, it truly is. Booker has been trusted by his teammates and coaches for so long that he has been able to prove his worth as the guy to take the final shot or the most critical shots of a game.

Also, it is fair to point out, the system put into place by Phoenix has been molded and centered around Devin Booker. Booker is the focal point of this team, he’s been labeled the “franchise player” since arriving in Phoenix.

Let me explain it this way

Booker doesn’t have to take the final shot, and he hasn’t in the past, but the team is confident in him making that final shot – he’s done it many times in his career.

When a team is confident in their player to shoot the ball at a high level and succeed for the majority of the attempts, then that will bleed into their confidence/outlook on that player taking those critical shots and seeing it fall 9 times out of 10.

When speaking about Booker, he isn’t a one-trick pony. Phoenix also relies upon him for his playmaking, 5 assists a game is a big deal and he has a very efficient rate of success when passing the ball. Considering that his ratio (5:2) of assists-to-turnovers is positive and actually impacts the team in an upward direction.

The Suns have always trusted Booker to put them in the right position to succeed in games. If down or up, you look to Booker to make the shot. If on the court, Booker will always be looking to make the shot or to create a shot for his teammate. Why do you think teams try to double-team him?

Fine, but why couldn’t Kevin Durant take over that role (since he is averaging those numbers)?

Earlier in his career, I would 100% agree with you and give it to him. At this point in his career, being 34 years old, I am not inclined to give him the privilege of being the first option.

It’s not because he isn’t deserving of the first option, that would be ludicrous to even imply. But why make him the first option, make him the focal point of this team, and hurt production from Booker and others, just to give him the option?

He’s at a point in his career where he doesn’t need to be the first option to get his points, rebounds, assists, etc. Durant has an aging body that doesn’t need to be used a lot in a game, has a recovering knee, and doing that at a stage of his career where that doesn’t need to happen.

He gets his stats and does his most impact just fine when looking at the three games he has been a Phoenix Sun. In the end, it wouldn’t benefit the team and could actually hurt the team in bad ways.

Here are my controversial thoughts on this situation

I don’t believe the Suns need to be labeling Booker or Durant as an option, why? Because Booker will be taking more shots than Durant, it has been proven to be that way since the first game together. Durant doesn’t want to carry that big of a load because he has the ability to get to the line a bunch of times, so if he doesn’t get to shoot 20+ times a game then it is alright.

Let Booker shoot his shot, get his 20.5 attempts per game and let the system work itself through. I’m laid back on that because I believe both Booker and Durant have a valuable role on this team, obviously, but it goes deeper.

The way Phoenix has the rotations where Booker/Durant on playing at the same time, or one plays first then next shift the other takes over in the game. That has worked and has allowed Booker to average 30+ points and Durant to average 26.7 points.

The options can be pointless as both are on the court a lot together and both compliment each other; just because Booker is the first-option doesn’t mean Durant can’t take any meaningful shots. In their win over the Mavericks (Saturday afternoon), Durant took the game-winning shot. That is how they compliment each other because they are selfless, puts the teams needs/wants first, and wants to better each other.

For these two, options just don’t matter. However, technically speaking, it would be Booker because of usage through minutes and shots being taken. There is almost a 10-shot difference between the two athletes.

Concluding this article

In the end, it will always be Booker as the first option; I 100% believe that as we are dealing with a strategic strategy that must preserve the health and motivation of Durant before the postseason comes. Phoenix is in that final stretch, a handful games left so they can’t get sloppy now – not saying they will, just speaking out loud.

Kevin Durant will get his 20-30 piece per night, same for Devin Booker, so I don’t really care about guys being named first option or second option. I am looking at this through Kevin Durant’s age, where he is at this point in his career, his current (really previous, now coming out of the injury rehab) knee issues, and how Devin Booker and the rest of the squad will react to this move.

  • First option: Devin Booker
  • Second option: Kevin Durant
  • Third option: Deandre Ayton
  • Fourth option: Chris Paul

That is how I would lay this out, Booker takes the most shots while Chris Paul doesn’t. However, given their roles and what they excel at, they’ll get their stats and then some. Understand that I am not undermining any player, in fact, I’m propping them up through the lens of their specialities and what they can do really well each and every night.

Durant gets to the line 7 times a game, takes almost 5 threes a game, and 18 shots a game; that is very good and will always result in big outcomes for Durant, so it really doesn’t matter about who has the best option.

People look to Booker as the first option because they want him commanding this team, along with others, but also preserving the body/mind of Durant. He knows how to get his, so try to take 10 shots off a game to preserve himself. It makes very good sense.

Overall, that is where we are at. Everyone has a role and that role is being excelled at greatly. Hopefully, this makes sense to everyone. Again, these thoughts are my opinions. Nothing more nothing less than the truth.


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