Phoenix Suns shooting guard Devin Booker has been selected to replace injured Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard in the 2020 NBA All-Star Game, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic.
Booker will also replace Lillard in the Three-Point Contest, a competition which he won in 2018 by besting former champion Klay Thompson of the Golden State Warriors in the final round.
This will be Booker’s first time as an All-Star and a damn close call at that after he was snubbed out of contention after the coaches’ vote. The Suns phenom will join Team LeBron, a place that Lillard occupied before he strained his groin on Wednesday against the Memphis Grizzlies, putting him out of consideration for the mid-February festivities.
Lillard, who plans to rest throughout All-Star weekend in hopes to recover in time to make a playoff push, named Booker as a worthy replacement during a post-game interview — something that likely gave him the edge for the nod from NBA Commissioner Adam Silver.
Booker is averaging 26.4 points, 4.2 rebounds, and 6.3 assists per game this season — numbers similar to last season’s, but playing a much bigger role for his team, which has already surpassed the 19-win total it mustered last season — doing so by the All-Star break.
The 6-foot-6 Michigander has traded volume shooting for efficiency, attempting the fewest shots per game since his rookie season (17.9), but hitting at a career-high 49.6% clip from the floor.
Book is still not an elite 3-point shooter, despite his marksman capabilities and a 3-Point Contest title from two years ago, but he’s making a serviceable 35.8% from deep this season and has shown the capability to catch fire when on a roll.
Booker hit a Three-Point Contest record 28 points in 2018, which were the most ever in a round and the most in a final round. He made 20 out of his 25 shot attempts in 2018 to earn him the title of Three-Point Contest champion, which is tied for the second-best mark to Craig Hodges (1991).