It all depends on whether Monty Williams can get these guys to play good defense. If they could fight and hustle the whole game, maybe a guy like Booker can become more of a closer. He shot poorly last season from deep (.326 3P%), but still had a .584 TS% that was closer to Lillard (.588) than it was to Russell (.533). People crap on Booker, but he was actually more efficient than Simmons, Beal, Thompson and Butler (all between .571 and .582 TS%).

That’s because Booker shot 7.1 free throws per game, and shot over 60% within 5 feet of the rim. Booker made 53.6% of his two point shots, which is insane shooting for a guard — better than any All-NBA guard this season.

If he can get back to his career average (.354 3P%), Booker, and just try on defense, he might be a surprise All-Star selection next season.

Here are the 4th season stats of Booker and another player:

Booker: 26.6 ppg, 4.1 rpg, 6.8 apg, .9 stl, 7.1 FTA, .467 FG%, .326 3P%, .521 eFG%, .584 TS%

Player X: 22.5 ppg, 6.3 rpg, 4.9 apg, 1.6 stl, 6.1 FTA, .468 FG%, .319 3P%, .488 eFG%, .546 TS%

The only difference is the other guy’s rebounding and defense. As a matter of fact there are only 19 players who put up at least 22/4/4 with over .540 TS% in history. Booker is in the top 10 all time in points, assists and TS%, but dead last in win shares because he plays for a terrible team. 16 of the 19 players are already in or destined to be in the Hall of Fame.

I’m really high on Booker. He has been surrounded by poor outside shooters, bad coaching and a terrible front office. He’s only 22 years old, but looks like he could really take off in the right situation.

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Ad agency creative director, writer & designer at https://guttmanshapiro.com. Former pro tennis player and peak performance coach for professional athletes.

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