The Phoenix Suns have failed to crack 25 wins in three straight years, and Devin Booker is tired of watching the postseason from the sideline.
During the team’s exit interviews, per Scott Bordow of azcentral sports, the shooting guard set lofty expectations for his future.
“I’m done with not making the playoffs. I’m serious. This is probably the last year I’m ever not making the playoffs. That’s putting pressure on myself I need. I’m watching these games right now with teams trying to clinch and the playoff atmosphere of those games and those are the games I want to be in.”
Phoenix selected Booker in the first round of the 2015 draft, so the only thing he knows in the NBA is losing. The Suns are 68-178 during his brief professional career.
After finishing 2017-18 with a 21-61 record, Phoenix will have the largest chance to secure the No. 1 pick in the 2018 draft. If the favorable odds ultimately give the Suns the top choice, they could pair Booker with Arizona center Deandre Ayton.
While that duo — along with forward Josh Jackson — probably wouldn’t be enough to thrust Phoenix into the playoff discussion, it gives the franchise a legitimately promising core to build around.
Plus, Booker averaged 24.9 points, 4.7 assists and 4.5 rebounds this season. He’s on the verge of becoming a true NBA star.
Booker, who could leave Phoenix as a free agent next summer, is likely to miss the postseason in 2018-19. But there’s a real possibility the drought ends in a couple years, especially if he continues improving at such a rapid pace.