Is Gary Harris better than Devin Booker?

Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

Sports Illustrated claims that Phoenix Suns star Devin Booker isn’t even a top 10 shooting guard in the league. Who’s truly better, Booker or Gary Harris?

Every year, Sports Illustrated releases their list of the top 100 players in the NBA for the upcoming season.

This means that they’re making a small prediction based on potential based on who will prove themselves, but since the prediction only looks one year forward, the list is essentially still the top 100 players right now.

Somehow, the Phoenix Suns’ franchise player, Devin Booker, barely scrapes into the top 50 of the list, coming in at exactly No. 50. He’s not even top 10 for shooting guards, coming in at No. 13.

Take a look at some of the other SGs ahead of him.

  1. James Harden
  2. Jimmy Butler
  3. Victor Oladipo
  4. Klay Thompson
  5. Bradley Beal
  6. Khris Middleton
  7. DeMar DeRozan
  8. CJ McCollum
  9. Donovan Mitchell
  10. Gary Harris
  11. Jaylen Brown
  12. Eric Gordon
  13. Devin Booker

Some of them are obviously better. James Harden was just the MVP, Jimmy Butler is one of the best two-way players in the league and Victor Oladipo had a real breakthrough season last year.

Some of the other names are head-scratchers, though. Eric Gordon, who doesn’t even start, is better? Jaylen Brown deserves to be this high so early in his career?

However, this article will not seek to debunk each individual player who is perhaps unfairly above Booker. Rather, in the interest of sacrificing breadth for depth, let’s dive deep into one particular player and see who’s truly the better player.

For this exercise, No. 10 shooting guard Gary Harris of the Denver Nuggets will be the case study. One Nuggets writer here at FanSided admitted in an article that Booker at least might be better than Harris, but of course, one or two throwaway lines do not mean the matter is settled.

If Booker can be proven to be better, then we can conclude he’s likely a top-10 shooting guard in the league. If not, then perhaps Booker really does belong at No. 13.

One quick aside: unless otherwise noted, all stats are from Basketball-Reference.com, and all are per game averages from the prior season. Normally it’s wise to standardize stats by using per-36, so that the player who received more minutes doesn’t have inflated numbers, but Harris played 34.4 minutes per game last year to Booker’s 34.5, so the difference should be negligible and can be ignored.

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