Tag Archive for: Devin Booker

NBA Free Agency: Evaluating Every Major Signing From Day 1

Every year, a week after the draft, the NBA free agency period begins. This is always an exciting time for NBA fans, as it provides some excitement during the dull period that is the off-season. While this free agent class isn’t as exciting as some from years prior, there still have been a couple of big names receiving some large deals. Let’s take a look at some of the big transactions from the first day of free agency.

Nikola Jokic, Denver Nuggets (5 years, $264 million)

This one is a no-brainer. The now two-time and reigning MVP got a nice payday today, receiving a supermax deal from the Denver Nuggets. Jokic would have been a free agent after the 2023 season, but after this extension he’ll be a Nugget for the foreseeable future. After willing his team to the playoffs this season, Jokic deserves every penny of the deal that makes him the highest paid player in NBA history.

Malik Monk, Sacramento Kings (2 years, $19 million)

The 24-year old shooting guard will now join the third team in his young career. Monk spent four years with the Hornets before joining the Lakers last year. Malik averaged 13 points per game and now joins a backcourt featuring his former college teammate De’Aaron Fox.

Victor Oladipo, Miami Heat (1 year, $11 million)

Oladipo has had a bit of an up-and-down career, but he seems to have found a home in South Beach. Oladipo was a former All-Star, and there was lots of hype around him at the time he joined Miami. Victor struggled to stay on the court in 2021, but he’ll get a chance to run it back with one of the top teams in the East.

Bradley Beal, Washington Wizards (5 years, $251 million)

Here, we have another star player getting extended with his current team. Beal has been the center of trade rumors in the past week, and those grew louder after he turned down his player option recently. Today, we learned why, as Beal gets a massive extension, one that makes him among the highest players in the league.

Jalen Brunson, New York Knicks (4 years, $104 million)

The Knicks got their guy. After unloading a ton of cap space in the past week, all signs pointed to the New York choosing Brunson as their point guard of the future. The 25-year old had a breakout season last year, and played very well in the playoffs. Was he worth $104 million? Only time will tell.

Lu Dort, Oklahoma City Thunder (5 years, $87.5 million)

If there’s one guy who just had the best day of his career, it’s Lu Dort. Dort was one of the most underrated players in the league last season, averaging over 17 points and four rebounds. He’s an absolute force on the defensive end, and it will be exciting to watch him grow as a player in Oklahoma.

Devin Booker, Phoenix Suns (4 years, $214 million)

Early Thursday morning, it was reported that the Nets would want Devin Booker in return for any trade involving Kevin Durant. It’s clear now that won’t be happening. Booker, one of the elite scorers in the league will now be locked up in Arizona for a long time.

Overall, this was a pretty eventful first day of NBA free agency. For a group that didn’t feature a ton of big names, Thursday was still a whirlwind in the NBA world. There are still some big names remaining on the market, and the next few days should be interesting to watch.


***This article was originally published on the ATB Network by Jake Brockhoff***

  Hussam Patel is a Miami Dolphins contributor and Lead NFL Draft analyst at Five Reasons Sports Network, Director of Scouting at PhinManiacs and Editor at Dolphins ATB. Follow him on Twitter at @HussamPatel
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Phoenix Suns are the Best Team in The NBA, But You Wouldn’t Know It

The Phoenix Suns took a while, but they’ve finally convinced the bookmakers they should be the NBA title favorites this season. The Brooklyn Nets, now the second favorite after dominating the bookies’ picks for most of the season, will have to make things work with a part-time player in Kyrie Irving and new acquisition Ben Simmons, who hasn’t played a single game this season. 


The Suns didn’t generate much of a wow factor when they signed veteran point guard Chris Paul, but hindsight suggests there should have been much hype as he helped them to within two wins of an NBA championship.


The Suns have picked up right where they left off but still aren’t the subject of hype, with the Los Angeles Lakers, Nets, Philadelphia 76ers, and Golden State Warriors dominating the headlines. Phoenix, though, owns the NBA’s best record at 46-10 and is the 9/2 favorite to lift the Larry O’Brien trophy. Hopefuls could take advantage of BetMGM Arizona bonus codes on that front.


Paul has opted to go it on his own for all of his career, unlike the rest of his Banana Boat clique. He’s the only one who has refused to play for a super team and his joining the Suns can’t be considered to be anything like that as they were relatively obscure before his arrival, despite boasting a scoring machine in Devin Booker.

As hardly ever turns out, CP3 is a superstar whose career has brightened towards the latter years. The Phoenix experiment wasn’t expected to work out as well as it has, perhaps due to folks thinking he wouldn’t mix well with Booker yet it’s been quite the opposite.


Much like his team, Booker is doing his thing under the radar. One of the best scorers in the league, no one questions his ability but he probably does not make it to most fans’ dream team of current NBA superstars. Booker is averaging 25.5 points, 5.5 rebounds and 4.4 assists a game this season; he leads the Suns in scoring.


The Suns also have a solid player in Mikal Bridges, who is posting 50/40/90 this term. A top 3-and-D player, Bridges has taken up the job of making life more difficult for the best scorers in the league and is now in the conversation for an All-Defensive mention and possibly the Kia Defensive Player of the Year Award.


The player recently discussed his defensive formula, shedding light on how he chooses to defend different players.


“That’s the IQ part,” he said, via NBA.com. “Certain things you can do with some guys — with LeBron, you can be a little bit more physical. Steph, you have to guard him out a little farther, because of how fast he is with his handle. LeBron, deal with his strength. It’s just about taking pride and playing hard. But those two guys are unbelievable, NBA greats, they’re tough.


“So many, man. Like Dame, Luka, Harden, KD, they’re ridiculous. And guys coming in like Trae Young, my age or younger. There’s a lot of talent. I’m seeing guys every night.”

“When I was young, I always liked getting steals,” Bridges added. “I had a pretty high [defensive] IQ as a kid, and I knew how to make kids do a right-to-left crossover so I could pick-pocket them and go get a layup.


“But the defense really came when I got to college. Whatever it took to be on that floor, and defense was part of it. I’ve kind of stuck with it ever since.”


As potent as Phoenix’s players have become, things wouldn’t have been as great without Paul in the mix. The point guard has been averaging more assists in his 18th season than he has in the last eight years, while shooting 48 percent from the field.


According to AZSports’ Kellan Olsen, “Aaron Holiday called Chris Paul probably the best point guard to ever play the game and said it’s a blessing to join Phoenix and get to learn from him.”


It’s no wonder the Suns rank first in assist-to-turnover ratio and effective field goal percentage.


While other teams have undergone key changes, the Suns have kept the core that took them to the finals last year. They added JaVale McGee, and Bismack Biyombo’s arrival on a 10-day contract worked out pretty well as he earned a spot for the rest of the season. The Suns weren’t slowed down when DeAndre Ayton missed seven games with injury, winning all seven as Biyombo proved his importance.


While former favorites, the Nets, struggle to get out of a funk that has seen them lose 11 consecutive games, the Suns continue rolling on as they look to return to the finals and make good on their appearance this time around.

The Tyler Herro-Devin Booker Comparison Is Real

The comparison that continually gets brought up when discussing Tyler Herro is Devin Booker, and rightfully so.

The reason they got compared originally was that they have a similar play style. They can each play off the ball through catch and shoot, but ultimately thrive more with the ball in their hands off the dribble. The shooting mechanics and form have some similarities as well, which is probably because of the fact that Tyler watches a lot of film on him to model his game.

But that is not the only similarity between the two.

For starters, they played for the same college and played the same position. Surprisingly, Tyler Herro actually had a better college career than Booker.

Herro averaged 14 points, 3 assists, and 5 rebounds, while Booker averaged 10 points, 1 assist, ans 2 rebounds. It honestly isn’t fair to compare though, since Herro played many more minutes a game.

On draft night, they both seemed to get overlooked a bit, which seems to always happen to Kentucky Wildcats until they prove them wrong.

Booker and Herro each ended up getting picked 13th in their respective draft classes. And when taking a look back at it now, they each turned out to be top three players in their draft.

When heading into their rookie years, they each didn’t have too much pressure so nobody expected much. Tyler Herro averaged 14 points, 2 assists, and 3 rebounds in 27.4 minutes a game, while Devin Booker averaged 14 points, 3 assists, and 3 rebounds in 27.7 minutes a game.

The only difference is that Devin had more of an opportunity to make an impact on a bottom tier Phoenix Suns team. Herro was joining a team that just acquired Jimmy Butler, and had high hopes of a deep playoff run, which obviously ended up happening. Herro’s outstanding playoff run also gives him a bit of an advantage, since Booker hasn’t had the luxury of competing in the playoffs.

Booker ended up making a huge second year jump, going from 14 points a game to 22 points a game. And after seeing all of these similarities between Tyler and Devin, I wouldn’t be shocked if Herro did the same.

Once again, it’s two totally different situations, since Miami is coming off a Finals loss. But I actually believe that Tyler Herro will be Miami’s leading scorer next season if they have this same team.

The strides he took in the bubble offensively truly stood out, since Erik Spoelstra and the team trusted him to run the offense and take big time shots in huge playoff games. If they allowed him to do that then, what makes you think they won’t let him cut loose during the regular season?

Obviously that’s a high bar to set for a 20 year old, but if there’s anybody that’s capable of doing it, it’s Tyler Herro.