BY: ED COLE
PHOENIX – The Phoenix Suns frantically tried to trade out of the 13th position in the 2015 NBA Draft and up to the 9th position in order to take Wisconsin power forward Frank Kaminsky. That didn’t work, so Phoenix decided to stay put at 13, and they got another stellar talent in Kentucky guard Devin Booker.
Booker came out for the Suns’ workouts and looked impressive. His ability to knock down long-range shots is one of Booker’s strengths. In his one and only season at Kentucky, Booker hit 58 of his 141 three-point shots (.411). He averaged 10.0 points and was named SEC Sixth Man of the Year by the league’s coaches and he was also a member of the All-SEC Second Team and All-SEC Freshman Team.
Booker had a seven-game stretch in which he connected on 20-of-28 (71.4-percent) of his three-point shots. Depending on the playing time he gets this coming season, Booker should be an immediate help to what the Suns want to do with their perimeter game. After Phoenix traded away guard Goran Dragic at the All-Star break, the Suns were dead last in the league in three-point shooting.
Booker was just as dynamic in high school. At Moss Point High School in Moss Point, Miss., Booker averaged 30.9 points per game in his senior season. Booker finished his three-year career as the school’s all-time leading scorer with 2,518 points. Because of his play, Booker was selected to play in the McDonald’s All-American and Jordan Brand Classic games.
Booker was regarded as the 18th overall prospect in his class by ESPN, and No. 29 by Scout and Rival.
Booker comes from great basketball stock: his father, Melvin, played 32 games in the NBA for the Houston Rockets, Denver Nuggets and Golden State Warriors. He averaged 5.2 points and 2.3 assists in 17.5 minutes.