Trae Young, others hoping Devin Booker replaces Damian Lillard in All-Star Game
Damian Lillard’s unfortunate groin injury has left a vacancy for the upcoming All-Star Game, as he pulled out of the 3-Point Contest and ASG altogether in hopes to fully recover from his injury. When asked who should replace him, it didn’t take long for Dame to invoke Phoenix Suns star Devin Booker’s name as one of the deserving players who should make the cut.
Trae Young, who was voted as an All-Star starter in his second season in the league, quickly threw in his support for Booker:
Sad to hear about Dames injury…😓 but that automatically means D Book is in… Right? 🤔👀
— Trae Young (@TheTraeYoung) February 13, 2020
The replacement decisions rest solely with NBA Commissioner Adam Silver, who handpicks a player he deems deserving of that spot. Considering Lillard is a Western Conference player, the likely nod could go to the star most felt was snubbed from consideration — which many felt was Booker.
Suns head coach Monty Williams gave Lillard “mad props” for throwing Booker’s name into consideration, as his opinion is bound to have some weight in Silver’s ultimate decision:
Quick takes from #Suns lockerroom.
Monty Williams gave Damian Lillard mad props for saying Devin Booker should be considered to replace him as an all-star.
Devin Booker said "we'll cross that bridge" several times when asked about if he gets the call to replace Lillard.
— Duane Rankin (@DuaneRankin) February 13, 2020
Former teammates Jamal Crawford and Jared Dudley also jumped in to support the fifth-year guard, who’s having yet another sensational year across the board.
Crawford played with Booker for most of last season after being signed as a veteran free agent. Dudley also spent two seasons with the Suns from 2016-18 before his stint with the Brooklyn Nets in 2018-19:
Hate to see anyone get hurt, but if Dame can't go, I hope Book gets that spot!
— 🏁 Jamal Crawford (@JCrossover) February 13, 2020
There’s only one choice and should of make it from the jump! Devin Booker! https://t.co/ZQIHiz7QBs
— Jared Dudley (@JaredDudley619) February 13, 2020
Booker is putting up similar numbers compared to last season, but doing so with sparkling efficiency. His 26.4 points, 4.2 rebounds, and 6.3 assists per game continue to be a difference-maker for the 22-33 Suns, who have already eclipsed their win mark from last season.
Yet it is his efficiency that has catapulted this team to a better record. Book is shooting a career-best 49.6% from the floor and a league-leading 92% from the foul line — as automatic as his selection into the All-Star Game should be.