Timberwolves' Karl-Anthony Towns Calls Devin Booker All-Star Snub 'F--kin Joke'

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistJanuary 31, 2020

PORTLAND, OREGON - DECEMBER 30: Devin Booker #1 of the Phoenix Suns talks to the Portland Trail Blazers bench during the second half of the game at the Moda Center on December 30, 2019 in Portland, Oregon. The Phoenix Suns top the Portland Trail Blazers 122-116. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Alika Jenner/Getty Images)
Alika Jenner/Getty Images

Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker missed the All-Star cut in the Western Conference, and the decision isn't going over well among some in the league.

Minnesota Timberwolves star Karl-Anthony Towns tweeted Booker's omission was a "F%?!*n Joke," while Suns general manager James Jones issued a statement, via Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium.

"I've played with and against multiple All-Stars in this league and Devin Booker is undoubtedly an NBA All Star," Jones said.

Occasionally a player's reputation can carry him into the All-Star Game, especially when it comes to the fan vote. Booker may have suffered from the opposite effect.

For most of his career, Booker has scored a high volume of points for terrible Suns teams—87 wins through his first four seasons. Combine that with Booker's poor defense and some rightfully questioned whether he should the cornerstone of a franchise.

The past discussion around the 23-year-old's game could've unfairly impacted how coaches viewed his 2019-20 contributions in an All-Star context.

Booker is averaging 27.1 points and 6.4 assists while shooting a career-best 51 percent from the field. According to StatMuse, he and Bradley Beal are the first players in the last 35 years to average at least 27 points and still miss the All-Star Game.

His contributions aren't limited to offense, with his 110.8 defensive rating his second-lowest since entering the league in 2015, per NBA.com. He's also 107th among 124 shooting guards in ESPN.com's defensive real plus-minus (minus-1.46), which isn't great but an upgrade over last year. He was 97th (minus-2.44) out of 101 players at the position in 2018-19.

In addition, the Suns are 3.5 games back of the eighth-seeded Memphis Grizzlies, so Booker isn't putting up empty numbers on a team with no hope of reaching the playoffs.

Given his age, Booker will almost certainly make an All-Star team—even in the loaded West—down the line if he continues playing at this level. For now, he and Suns fans have good reason to feel aggrieved.


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