The Phoenix Suns’ sputtering, years-long rebuilding project might finally have an end in sight. On Saturday, Phoenix signed franchise cornerstone Devin Booker to a five-year, $158 million maximum contract set to take effect in the 2019-20 season.

The 21-year-old, who is an elite scorer perhaps best remembered for dropping 70 points in a game against the Boston Celtics in 2017, tweeted a photo of himself smiling while he signed the contract Saturday night. He had plenty of reasons to be happy, as the deal makes him the highest-paid player in the history of the franchise.

“I am humbled [and] honored to commit to the Suns organization long term,” Booker wrote. “I loved calling Phoenix home the last [three] seasons as this team [and] community are special to me. Thank you to the Suns for drafting me and believing in me. I look forward to the future [and] pursuing a title as a Sun.”

Booker, who went 13th overall out of Kentucky in the 2015 draft, has averaged 19.8 points per game in his three seasons as a pro. He has proved himself to be not just a dependable scorer but an exceptional offensive talent: In March, he became the third-youngest player, behind LeBron James and Kevin Durant, to top 4,000 career points. During the 2017-18 season, he averaged a career-high 24.9 points per game, which ranked 10th best in the NBA. Only four currently active players — James, Durant, Carmelo Anthony and Karl-Anthony Towns — averaged more points at a younger age.

Though his questionable defense might raise eyebrows about the deal, securing Booker appears to have been an important step for the Suns. Phoenix hasn’t strung together a 25-win year since the 2014-15 season, before Booker arrived, and starts the 2018-19 campaign with its fourth coach in as many years.

Still, the Suns have surrounded their centerpiece with five lottery picks over the years, including 2018 selections DeAndre Ayton out of Arizona and Mikal Bridges out of Villanova. That they signed Booker to a max contract this early in the summer — how different this feels from the bungled handling of Eric Bledsoe in 2014 — signifies that Phoenix might finally be ready to move past its rebuilding phase and move on to winning basketball games.

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