Mar 1, 2014; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Washington Wizards power forward Trevor Booker (35) against the Philadelphia 76ers during the second quarter at Wells Fargo Center. The Wizards defeated the 76ers, 122-103. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

A Salute to Trevor Booker And His Time With the Washington Wizards

In 2010, Trevor Booker made his NBA debut with the Washington Wizards after getting traded on draft day by the Minnesota Timberwolves. Even though he was never one of the top options on the court, Trevor Booker came into his own over his four seasons in Washington. Especially during the 2013-2014 NBA season, Booker became an important glue guy and was a main factor to the Wizards’ playoff run. His hustle and tenacity became commonplace and he never let playing time or lack of offensive touches minimize his effort.

During the Chicago Bulls series, in particular, Trevor Booker was called upon to rebound, as Joakim Noah’s, Taj Gibson’s and Carlos Boozer‘s length and size allowed Chicago to dominate the offensive glass. Per 36 minutes, Booker averaged nearly 10 rebounds a game which allowed the Wizards to push the ball up the court and get easy buckets. Furthermore, his ability to keep the ball in play on the offensive side of the floor after a missed shot was paramount as it exhausted the Bulls’ defense while giving Washington more scoring opportunities.

Trevor Booker’s postseason was just a fragment of his fantastic season. He ended up leading the Wizards in field-goal percentage at 55.1 % and scored at least 10 points in 24 games. During the month of December, Booker had to pick up the slack when Nene went down with an injury. During this period, Booker averaged over 8 rebounds a game and kept the Wizards afloat during a tough stretch. Trevor Booker may have been undersized at the power forward position (only 6’8″), however he more than made up for it with tenacity and perseverance. He improved immensely this season and it will be tough to see him enhance his skills in an opponent’s uniform.

As the offseason progressed and the Wizards brought back Andre Miller and Drew Gooden while also adding DeJuan Blair, Kris Humphries and Paul Pierce, it became obvious that the Wizards would not have the roster spot nor the salary flexibility to resign Trevor Booker. Ultimately, Booker signed with the Utah Jazz, for nearly $10 million over two seasons, which will allow him to be a more integral part of a young and building team.

The signings of Humphries and Blair ensured that Booker’s absence will not be tremendous, however his hard-work and chemistry with the other players will be difficult to replace.

During Booker’s rookie season in 2010, the Wizards finished 23-59, yet Trevor Booker never was frustrated or attacked the management. He let his hustle and improved play do the talking. It seems only fitting that Booker had a chance to show his wares during the NBA Playoffs at least once donning a DC jersey, as he was one of many key players in turning the team around.

Trevor Booker’s statistics may seem run-of-the-mill, however I’m sure that every Wizards’ fan will remember his ability to make an electrifying play, purely due to hustle and heart.

The Cook Book’s love for cereal and hustle on the court will certainly be missed, but the Jazz fans will have a new fan favorite this upcoming season.

 

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