Suns’ Devin Booker enters league COVID health and safety protocols

Utah Jazz v Phoenix Suns
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Already without Chris Paul due to a fractured thumb, the Suns will be without their other backcourt All-Star Devin Booker for a while.

Devin Booker has entered the league’s COVID health and safety protocols, the team announced Wednesday. He will miss several games and need a couple of consecutive negative tests to return.

Booker reportedly practiced with the team Tuesday, so this came up within the last 24 hours. Booker was in protocols during training camp and missed several preseason games.

Booker, the Suns’ leading scorer at 25.6 points per game, had taken over point guard duties with CP3 out. On the bright side, the Suns are expected to get Cameron Payne back from a wrist sprain that has had him out 15 games. Payne doesn’t get eased back in now; he will be asked to play heavy minutes from Day 1.

Phoenix has a 6.5 game cushion over Golden State for the best record in the NBA and should hold on to that through the final 20+ games of the season. For the Suns, it’s having Paul and Booker fully healthy in the playoffs that matter, with them they are serious title contenders.