Basic Stats: 6.8 PPG, 5.3 RPG, .9 APG, 55.1 FG%
Trevor Booker was drafted by the Minnesota Timberwolves in 2010, and was traded to the Washington Wizards that same night. Booker has had trouble staying healthy over the course of his career, but in limited minutes throughout his career, he has proven to be a capable rebounder despite being undersized for a power forward, at just 6’8”. He has regularly been grouped in with other first round disappointments such as Jan Vesely and Kevin Seraphin, but this year Booker took a step forward. Rather than collapse when Nene went down with an injury, the Wizards stayed afloat due to Booker stepping up and doing what he does best–hustling. When Nene was limited in the month of December, Booker averaged 8.2 RPG in just 26.8 minutes of action. However, when Nene was hurt again in March, the Wizards struggled a little bit, with Booker only grabbing 5.3 rebounds per game in 23.6 minutes. The Wizards went 8-8 in the month of March, which led to Wittman rushing Nene back into the starting lineup following his return.
(Trevor Booker’s shotchart from this season–via NBA.COM)
Booker alternated between the starting lineup and bench, and while his midrange numbers could have been better given the high amount of open looks he received, he played well overall offensively. According to Basketball-Reference, when Booker was on the court, offensively they were 3.7 points per possession better. However, defensively, the Wizards were 7.7 points per possession worse. Defense was his obvious weakness, given his shorter stature.
Although Booker struggled defensively at times, his play against the Chicago Bulls in the playoffs must be commended. His strong play in the series was most on display during the #FreeNene game, where Booker took on a starting role and he was the only Wizard capable of slowing Taj Gibson down. Unfortunately for Booker, Wittman opted to stretch the floor against the Pacers with Drew Gooden, and thus his outstanding play against the Bulls went unrewarded.
Next Season and Improvement:
Booker is an unrestricted free agent this summer. He had a good year now that he was finally healthy, but he remains undersized and his midrange jumper has been slow to progress. I don’t expect Booker to command much attention in free agency, and I would love to see the Wizards re-sign him. While he may not have a great jumper or the size to match up with other teams’ big men, Booker will give his 100% effort on every play and the Wizards feed off of his energy at times. He is also just 26 years old, so it would be wise to keep him ahead of some of the older big men on the team.
Final Grade: B