Report: Suns phenom Devin Booker to miss at least 4 weeks with hand injury
This timetable could have Booker back having missed all of training camp and some of the preseason, potentially returning against the Golden State Warriors for the third preseason game on Oct. 8 at the soonest, or in the last game before the regular season against the Portland Trail Blazers on Oct. 10.
The Suns could opt to rest Booker throughout the entire preseason as well, having etched his place in the starting lineup and as the Suns’ franchise player, after signing a five-year, $158 million rookie extension earlier this summer.
The native Michigander could be in line to start in the Suns’ season-opener against the Dallas Mavericks on Oct. 17 if it all goes well, though do expect Phoenix to play this cautiously with their new multi-million-dollar investment.
Booker led the team in scoring with 24.9 per game, posting career-highs in nearly every column, including a vastly improved 38.3 percent from deep, which saw him win the 2018 3-Point Contest during All-Star Weekend.
The 21-year-old proved lethal attacking the basket, getting to the line 6.1 times per night and shooting free throws at a potent 87.8 clip, while taking on the majority of playmaking duties throughout the season.
Booker developed as a playmaker due to the loss of Eric Bledsoe early in the season after he was traded to the Milwaukee Bucks, forced to play alongside a shaky backcourt of Mike James and Tyler Ulis, who was waived by the team this offseason.
The Suns will have to develop the rest of their new-look team during their star’s absence, including incorporating new wing Trevor Ariza and top overall pick Deandre Ayton — two players who will play a major part in their destiny.