The 2010 NBA draft began the roster rebuilding process for team president Ernie Grunfeld and the Wizards with the drafting of three first rounds picks; John Wall (1st overall), Kevin Seraphin (17th overall), and Trevor Booker (23rd overall). John Wall is the face of the franchise and Seraphin is a developing center prospect, but today we focus on the athletic forward, Booker, as the next player in our 2011-2012 player previews.
Last season, as a rookie, Booker played in 65 games, starting 14 of them and averaged 5.3 points and 3.9 rebounds per game. The numbers don’t jump out at you, but it was a productive season for the rookie as he showed hustle, heart, and loads of athletic ability that should keep him in a Wizards uniform for a long time. All of these things make Trevor Booker a player we can all root for.
Trevor Booker will likely never start for the Wizards on a full-time basis, but his impact on a team attempting to build itself into a contender is incredibly important. He brings an energy and passion to the court each and every night, and his passion for the game is further highlighted because of the lack of similar players the Wizards had last season.
While Trevor Booker lacks a true position as a 6’7″ power forward, he is an incredible athlete. Following a March 5th home game last season against the Minnesota Timberwolves, All-Star Kevin Love said, “You see the mascots jumping off the trampoline, that’s what it felt like he was doing in there. He’s an athletic freak. I got off at that 10th floor, he got off at the 12th. That was the deal.” Serious praise for Booker.
However, versatility is where Booker can improve his game. At times last season, head coach Flip Saunders hinted at the idea of playing him more at the small forward spot. Without question, Booker has the size and athletic ability to defend perimeter players in the NBA but it will take time. In college at Clemson, Booker was a power forward and center and has to learn to develop at the highest level of basketball to play on the perimeter—not an easy task. Holding back Booker the most from becoming a small forward option is his lack of a consistent jump shot. Last season he shot 54.9 percent with most of his shots coming off dunks and points in the paint. If Trevor Booker can develop a mid-range jumper and hone his tremendous athleticism into playing outstanding perimeter defense it will only add to his already important value to the Wizards.
For now Trevor Booker will likely be the Wizards’ seventh or eighth man this season as a high energy combo forward. His potential lends himself to be more, but even in his current role he’s a valuable piece to the Washington Wizards for the present and long-term. President Ernie Grunfeld has done a better job adding players that care and empty their bucket on the court every night with players like John Wall, Jan Vesely, Chris Singleton, Jordan Crawford, and Shelvin Mack on the roster, but as a team in any sport you can never have enough players that player the game the right way—and Trevor Booker certainly does that.
Twitter: @Kevin_Hine and @WizOfAwesKevin