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Devin Booker hopeful to play season-opener vs. Mavs

Suns

Phoenix Suns shooting guard Devin Booker is still hopeful to make his fourth-season debut in the team’s season-opener against the Dallas Mavericks on Oct. 17, according to Marc J. Spears of The Undefeated. A return against the Mavs would signify the Suns’ talisman beating his previous recovery timeline of six weeks stemming from surgery in his shooting hand, which if taken by the letter, would have him due to return on Oct. 22 against the Golden State Warriors at Oracle Arena.

The difference is a matter of days, a five-and-change-weeks recovery or a full six-week one, as previously prognosticated — yet those five days could play a big factor in Booker building up his stamina for a full-fledged NBA game, able to get practices in before taking on the defending champs.

The Suns looked good in a 117-109 preseason win against them on Monday, moving the ball actively and finding open shooters, quickly getting up to a 40-point first quarter and an eight-point lead over Golden State. Phoenix shot a blistering 7-of-10 from deep in the first quarter, thanks to their new additions in Trevor Ariza and Ryan Anderson — two specialist in deep-range artillery.

Booker is the lone missing chip in this new Suns roster, and perhaps the most important one after being rewarded with a five-year, $158 million extension to be the team’s talisman player.

The 22-year-old was recently seen taking left-handed 3-pointers and shooting free throws with a wrap in his hand. He’s yet to be cleared for contact, but could be soon enough, as he’s accelerated his recovery process in recent weeks.