Pacific Notes: Booker, Ayton, Doncic, Bagley, Joseph

With the Suns playing above expectations to start the season, the development of Devin Booker has been a focal point of the team’s season. A recent three-game skid has put Phoenix two games under .500 but Booker’s play has been generally solid this season.

The 23-year-old is averaging 24.5 PPG and 6.3 APG while shooting from the field (51%) and from three (41.9%) at career-best rates. As the season has progressed, new head coach Monty Williams has taken a proactive approach in trying to get his young star to the next level, Duane Rankin of the Arizona Republic writes.

Whether it’s late-night text sessions, extra work after practice or going over film and studying, Williams has been impressed with the work Booker has dedicated to improvement. While Williams feels he drives Booker nuts, the guard says he’s thankful for his new head coach.

“I understand most of it, I mean, all of it,” Booker said. “It’s just the way I am. I’ve said since the beginning, I trust him.”

Check out more Pacific Division notes:

  • Deandre Ayton is nearing a return from his 25-game suspension and the young center’s role is still unclear, Rankin writes in a separate story. The Suns’ big man has appeared in just one game this season but given Phoenix’s recent struggles, some scoring punch from the 21-year-old could help the team.
  • Mavericks‘ guard Luka Doncic has started off his sophomore season with a bang, becoming a daily triple-double threat and an early MVP candidate. Rankin writes once again how Doncic’s development makes Suns fans think about how different things would have been if Phoenix took Doncic in lieu of Ayton in last year’s draft.
  • Kings‘ forward Marvin Bagley III has only played in one game this season after breaking his thumb. Five weeks after the injury, Bagley is still not cleared to return but is getting closer, Jason Anderson of the Sacramento Bee writes. “Marvin is much closer than De’Aaron [Fox] is, but it’s one of those things that he hasn’t been cleared to go contact yet without (a brace) on,” head coach Luke Walton said. “So will he play tomorrow or Monday? No, but is he getting closer? Yes.”
  • While the personal stats may not be outstanding, the play of Cory Joseph, given the absence of Bagley and De’Aaron Fox has helped the Kings maintain pace in the Western Conference, James Patrick of the Sacramento Bee writes.
  • Jovan Buha of The Athletic answered several Clippers questions in the latest mailbag. Buha covered the possibility of the team pursuing Andre Iguodala, Landry Shamet‘s return, and more.
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16 thoughts on “Pacific Notes: Booker, Ayton, Doncic, Bagley, Joseph

  1. Doncic > Trae Young
    Young > JJJ
    JJJ > Bagley
    Bagley > Ayton
    SGA > Sexton

    Imagine if Doncic went to Suns or even Trae Young went to the Suns. Or Doncic on the kings.

  2. shawn hemp

    Doncic is a high volume high usage guy. He overrated af but he’s all they got. He’s harden shoot 30% from 3 and 42% from the Field. Get assists and a lot of turnovers. Stats look great but if ur gonna have the ball in ur hands as much as he does u better put up numbers. He never gonna get to the finals let alone win one just like harden

      • shawn hemp

        I mean I compared him to harden. He was a mvp and top 3 in votes for 5 years. Their games are very similar. He’s just not gonna be as good in playoffs (just like harden) cause playoff basketball is a different game. D pressure gets turnt up. So imo he never gonna get a chip. Disagree wit me all u want ain’t gonna change my mind

    • Jason Lancaster

      Doncic is one of the best passers in the league, he shoots extremely well, he rebounds well for his position, and he’s cagey on defense. He’s every bit as productive as LeBron was at the same age.

      Doncic isn’t the athlete that LeBron is, so he’ll likely never reach that level, but he’s going to be exceptional. And because his game isn’t supremely athletic, he’ll be able to play a long time.

    • Rewane

      Better check your facts. He is shooting 48.6% from field this season.
      Can you find another wing or guard to shoot 62.6%
      on more than 10 attempts a game?

        • shawn hemp

          Big difference between 48% and 62% bud. I can find a lot that shoot 48% bud that don’t make him special

        • justinkm19

          He’s a good shooter. He takes tough step back 3’s more than he does a normal 3. That’s because he’s normally double teamed now.

          • shawn hemp

            32% from 3 and he shoots about 10 a game. What’s his assist to turnover ratio? Bruh u can be on his D all u want. He never getting a championship as the best player on the team.

            • yanksknicks

              If only he was a second-year pro and had time to improve on his already elite numbers.

  3. x%sure

    Ayton was always going to be the top pick. People are imagining things if they want to co.e up with what-ifs. I recall Phoenix kept working him out or something and everyone wondered why… Just take him & be happy.

    Now Doncic to Sacto was quite possible; initially probable due to nationality, but I doubt Doncic remembers Yugoslavia.

    Ayton never had the help of a decent PF in the ROY, but Doncic always had at least one other ballhandler in the backcourt– Brunson, Berea, & this year SethCurry & DelonWright. Last year Dallas had DennisSmith, Burke & Harris and Bas.Ref rarely listed Doncic as a 1… they do now usually.

    • justinkm19

      Vlade hates Luka’s Dad. They’ve known each other for a long time. That’s why they didn’t draft him.

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