Who is the better All-Star player? Paul George, one of the best 2-way players in the past decade, is an exceptional talent who can do it all on the court at a high level. Devin Booker is slowly becoming one of the game’s best scorers in the NBA and already has a 70-point game to his name. As a result, it is very interesting to see which star comes out on top in a player comparison.
Both stars have yet to play in the NBA Finals, although they have had their success in the NBA. Paul George is a 6-time All-Star who has made the All-Defensive Team 4 times and won the Most Improved Player Award, while the 24-year old Booker is a 1-time All-Star and made the All-Rookie Team in 2016. But who is the better player overall?
To put the debate to rest, it is time to compare the two star players to try to distinguish between them.
Scoring – Devin Booker
Paul George averages 20.0 PPG on 43.4% shooting for his career, including 84.7% from the line and 38.3% from three. Devin Booker averages 22.4 PPG for his career, on 44.9% FG and 35.4% 3-point FG. Booker is also very efficient from the line, nailing 86.9% of his free throws. In terms of creating his own shot, Booker is a natural scorer and he is only getting better with time. George is a very good scorer when he is on fire and can create his own shot although Booker is superior in that regard.
Overall, Devin Booker is a better scorer because he is a better shooter and a more versatile offensive player. Not to mention, Booker has the potential to be one of the game’s best scorers while George does not. Devin Booker’s career-high is 70 points, and he has the most points in a game of any current player in the NBA.
Score is the first category for the Suns All-Star over Paul George.
Athleticism – Paul George
Paul George is immensely athletic and even after a severe injury he sustained a few years ago, he can rise above defenders to throw down jams. George’s physical abilities also give him leverage at shutting down players as his long arms allow him to get steals and block shots.
Devin Booker can be explosive at times, especially when he wants to attack the rim. Booker has good size for his position and he can get a shot off whenever he wants. But he isn’t as athletic as Paul George, who can play both guard and forward positions due to his size. The advantage has to go to Paul George.
Defense – Paul George
This is not even close. Paul George has been one of the game’s best defensive stoppers over the past decade and his defense is one of the reasons the Los Angeles Clippers decided to offer him a $190 million contract extension. George has made 4 All-Defensive Teams over his career and he will certainly make at least a few more before his career is over.
Devin Booker is a great scorer but his defense has a long way to go. Booker’s lack of all-around game is a major reason why the Phoenix Suns haven’t been one of the better teams in the West despite Booker going off on offense. Booker has time to improve but the advantage goes to George.
Clutch – Devin Booker
Paul George is a strong offensive player but his ability in clutch situations has come under question. He was a go-to guy in the clutch when he was in Indiana, although he didn’t have success with either Oklahoma City or Los Angeles when he was trusted to make big plays for his team.
On the other hand, Devin Booker has a great offensive game so it is only natural for this to get translated in the clutch. Many players don’t have that ability, but Booker certainly does. Devin Booker has an array of game-winners already in his young career and the 24-year old will soon become one of the most feared clutch players in the league. George gets a lot of criticism for his clutch performances, so the edge has to go to Devin Booker.
Leader – Even
The leadership qualities of both stars are not their brightest attributes. Paul George has been a franchise player for his team before but his leadership has always come under question. George and the Indiana Pacers had a great team but they couldn’t get past LeBron James and Miami Heat which isn’t a knock on George at all. But George has had multiple poor postseason performances that force people to question if he is actually capable of being a leader for his team.
Booker is young and doesn’t seem like the type to lead a team with his instruction or voice just yet. Booker is 24-years of age and plays in a league with grown men, so this will take time. Naturally, Booker is not regarded as a leader.
As a result, there is no clear distinction between both stars and this one is even.
Basketball IQ – Paul George
When it comes to basketball IQ, Paul George and Devin Booker are probably two of the best in their positions.
Paul George got a lot of well-deserved criticism for his inconsistent play last season, but his basketball IQ ranks among the best in the league, and his all-around game is a testament to that.
Devin Booker is a natural scorer and his ability as a playmaker has greatly improved as well. Booker is very aware of how to dominate a game with his offense and this will only improve as he matures as a player. As a result, his offensive IQ is off the charts. But Paul George has it all.
He can dribble, play lockdown defense, crash the boards, and score with or without the ball. Therefore, George takes advantage over Booker whose overall game needs improving.
Impact – Even
Paul George isn’t the scorer that Booker is although he can get his points at an All-Star level as well. George impacts the game on other areas, however, which should give him the advantage in most cases. But Booker’s rise as an offensive superstar cannot be denied and he has shown he can impact a game with his scoring and passing, which makes this even.
Devin Booker’s impact on the offensive end of the floor is undeniably great. There is a reason why the Phoenix Suns have the second-best record in the Western Conference right now, although Chris Paul has something to do with it as well. Booker is an automatic bucket and his impact on that end truly ranks among the best in the league. Having an All-Star caliber player like Booker is a blessing for the Phoenix Suns.
1 on 1 Game – Devin Booker
Paul George is a strong scorer in 1-on-1 situations and can even play lockdown defense on the other end. George is one of the best 2-way players in the game and his 1-on-1 skills is a major reason why. On the other side, Booker started out as a knockdown shooter but his game has expanded tremendously over the years. Booker can take players off the dribble, post up smaller players, step back for jumpers, and finish at the rim. He is a complete offensive package and one of the very best 1-on-1 players in the world.
George’s ability as a 2-way player should get him the advantage, but Booker is undeniably special at scoring the ball in these situations. As evidenced by his performances this season, the advantage has to go to Booker.
Career – Paul George
This one is not very close because Paul George was thrust into the franchise player role early on in his career after winning the Most Improved Player Award. He hasn’t looked back since as George made 6 All-Star Teams and 5 All-NBA Teams as a member of the Pacers, Thunder, and Clippers.
Devin Booker has one All-Star Team to his name and will likely make many more as he continues to improve as a star player. Paul George has simply a much greater career and he has had some memorable playoff battles with the likes of LeBron James and Dwyane Wade which gives him a clear advantage.
Paul George vs. Devin Booker 4-3
Paul George edges Devin Booker as the overall better player. Booker is a better volume scorer and can be a better number one offensive option, but Paul George brings a better 2-way game. George is larger than Booker, is more efficient, and doesn’t have to score to impact the game.
George has also had a far more accomplished career than the young Devin Booker and George is possibly destined for the Hall of Fame if he can win a chip with the Clippers. Booker is still very young and can be a better player than George when it’s all said and done but right now, Paul George is the more valuable player.