Kevin Durant, star forward for the Phoenix Suns, said Devin Booker is crucial to the team’s future after Friday’s 122-119 defeat to the Los Angeles Lakers.
KD said of Booker in response to a question from Doug Haller of The Athletic: “[Booker] makes this thing go.” Where we wish to go is out of reach without him. He’s a multi-positional defender who puts a lot of stress on opposing defenders. We wish he were still here.
The Suns have gotten off to a shaky 4-5 start despite being one of the Western Conference’s top contenders entering the 2023-24 season.
With the addition of Devin Booker, the Phoenix Suns now have one of the finest trios in the NBA after acquiring Durant from the Brooklyn Nets at the trade deadline last season and Bradley Beal from the Washington Wizards in the offseason.
Booker has been the only consistent performer for the Suns over the previous nine years. He has played in 532 games, averaged 24.0 points per game, and been named to three All-Star teams.
The star guard’s absence from seven of the team’s nine games this season due to ankle and calf ailments has been greatly felt.
Beal has also missed seven games, but he has returned for the past two, and performed well against L.A., posting 24 points, four rebounds, two assists and two steals.
So far this season, Durant has been the undisputed starting point guard for the Suns, averaging 30.2 points, 6.9 rebounds, and 4.7 assists per game in nine contests.
The Durant and Beal deals depleted Phoenix of most of its depth, which is why it can ill afford to be without an of its “Big 3” for lengthy periods of time.
The biggest supplementary contributions have been Eric Gordon, Grayson Allen, and Jusuf Nurki, although they have not been able to fully replace Booker’s outstanding scoring.
On Sunday, the Suns will visit the Oklahoma City Thunder, giving Booker another opportunity to make his season debut.