In the midst of the Suns’ pitiful performance against the Pelicans on Wednesday night was one notable moment- Devin Booker passed Dan Majerle to become the 10th leading scorer in the history of the Phoenix Suns. Booker has been remarkable for his first 5+ seasons, already scoring over 8,000 points, and most would agree that the best is probably yet to come for the young guard.
This got me thinking about how far Booker might climb not only on the Suns scoring list, but also on the leaderboards of other significant franchise statistics.
So, I attempted to estimate where Booker will stack up against the Suns franchise greats by the time he finishes his current contract. While I am hopeful that Booker might stay in Phoenix even longer, stars staying with their team is never a certainty. He is at least under contract through the 2023-24 season, which is this season plus three more.
I started by trying to predict how many games he will play through the end of his contract. So far in his career, Booker has played in 85% of Suns games. If he were to continue to have the same health record, he would play in 253 more contests by the end of the 2023-24 season.
To make the numbers a little cleaner, I went with an even 250 as a conservative projection of his games played. All the projections below are what I think he will get to under the assumption of a 250 game sample, which would put him at just over 600 career games at the end of his second contract.
|Career Points||Rank in Suns history|
|Projected total in 2024||14,500||2nd|
Being the all-time leading scorer for a franchise is a huge honor, and it is absolutely a possibility for Booker to become that for the Suns. Way back in 2017, fellow Suns history enthusiast Ray Hrovat wrote an article for Bright Side with a conservative projection of when Booker could become the squad’s top bucket-getter. Booker is ahead of the pace Ray laid out, but it would be a major longshot for him to pass Walter Davis’s 15,666 career points in Phoenix before the end of this contract.
If he plays my 250 estimated games, he would need to average over 30 PPG over that time to pass the Greyhound. I think it is more likely Booker averages around 26 PPG during that span, which would give him a chance to pass Davis in 2024-25, his first season back if he signs another contract in Phoenix.
|Career Assists||Rank in Suns history|
|Projected total in 2024||3,050||5th|
Booker just passed Dan Majerle to become 10th on the Suns scoring leaderboard, and coincidentally he will most likely pass Majerle (1,824), who is currently 10th in career assists, by the end of this season. Right now Booker is 152 dimes behind Thunder Dan, and if he stays around his 4 APG this season, he will actually move into 9th place by the end of the year.
Booker is having a down year in assists by his own standards, but I think he will eventually get back up to the playmaking we have seen the last 2 years. I think 5.5 APG for the rest of his contract is very obtainable, which over 250 games would nearly double his current career assist total.
|Career 3-Pointers||Rank in Suns history|
|Projected total in 2024||1,200||1st|
This record is Book’s for the taking. Booker is currently 4th in Suns history in total 3-point makes. He has already canned 705 longballs over his career, and if he continues to make his season average of just over two per game, he will pass Dan Majerle (800) for 2nd in Suns history right before the end of this season.
Making two 3-pointers per game has been Booker’s average for each of the last 3 seasons, so I’ll assume he’ll continue to make about that many. At that pace, he will pass Steve Nash (1,051) to become the franchise leader some time during the 2022-23 season, a year before his contract is up. By the end of this contract, Booker should have a solid lead for most 3-pointers in Suns history
Points, Assists, and 3-Pointers are the three statistics that are the most interesting to me, but there are many more categories where Booker will be climbing the ranks. Below are several more in which he will almost certainly break into the top-10 before his contract expires in 2023-24.
|Career Free Throws||Rank in Suns history|
|Projected total in 2024||3,350||3rd|
|Career Field Goals||Rank in Suns history|
|Projected total in 2024||5,000||3rd|
|Career Minutes||Rank in Suns history|
|Projected total in 2024||20,000||7th|
|Career Personal Fouls||Rank in Suns history|
|Projected total in 2024||1,900||2nd|
|Career Turnovers||Rank in Suns history|
|Projected total in 2024||2,000||5th|
It’s possible Booker plays more games or performs at a higher level than my projections; what I’ve laid out is I think his median outcome. Regardless, if Booker signs his third contract to stay with the Suns, he will end up the leader in many of these categories, and could cement a legacy as the greatest player in franchise history.
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Categories: Phoenix Suns