Phoenix Suns exercise options on Devin Booker, Dragan Bender and Marquese Chriss
PHOENIX — The Phoenix Suns have exercised their 2018-19 options on guard Devin Booker, forward Dragan Bender and forward Marquese Chriss.
Booker led the Suns with 22.1 points per game last season, the third-highest scoring average ever posted by a player 20-years-old-or-younger at season’s end, behind only LeBron James in 2004-05 and Kevin Durant in 2008-09. The 13th overall pick in the 2015 NBA Draft, Booker’s 2,774 total points through his first two seasons trail only James, Durant and Carmelo Anthony for the fourth-most ever by an NBA player before his 21st birthday.
Bender averaged 7.2 points and 7.0 rebounds this preseason, after averaging 3.4 points, 2.4 rebounds and 0.51 blocks in 43 appearances as a rookie last season, missing 31 games to a right ankle injury. The 4th overall pick and youngest player in the 2016 NBA Draft, Bender averaged 14.2 points, 6.0 rebounds and 2.4 assists for the Suns at NBA Summer League 2017 in Las Vegas, and also played for Croatia’s national team at FIBA EuroBasket 2017 this past summer.
Chriss was named to the 2016-17 NBA All-Rookie Second Team for averaging 9.2 points on 44.9 percent shooting, 4.2 rebounds, 0.85 blocks and 0.82 steals while playing all 82 games. The 8th overall pick in the 2016 NBA Draft, Chriss led all rookies in games started (75) and dunks (103), and was one of just two first-year players along with Joel Embiid to rank in the top 10 on the rookie leaderboard in scoring average, rebounds per game, blocks per game and steals per game.