Roles players are very valuable in the NBA. You can’t go far in the playoffs without multiple role players who can carry the load on any given night. The Washington Wizards lacked those multiple role players, but they had one in Trevor Booker who was one consistent role player for the Wizards, who won their first playoff series since 2005 this year.
With power forward Nene being injury-prone, Booker started 45 games this season and averaged 6.8 points and 5.3 rebounds in 21.6 minutes per game while shooting a career-high 55 percent shooting from the floor. Booker was a high energy guy that consistently hurt opposing defenses on the offensive glass and created second opportunities for the Wizards. Booker also pulled down 2.1 offensive rebounds per game, second-most on the team behind starting center Marcin Gortat.
The “eye test” is a complicated way to look at things in the NBA and Booker exemplifies that. This season I really thought Booker brought a lot of good things to the table for the Wizards with his energy and physicality, but the Wizards struggled with him on the court, especially defensively. They were 7.7 points better per 100 possessions defensively with Booker on the bench.
A big part of that, and where Booker struggles, is because of his lack of size at the power forward position. At 6′ 7″, Booker struggles to guard the power forward position. His lack of size is big reason why he never played over ten minutes in a game and received two DNPs in the second round of the playoffs against the Indiana Pacers. He just can’t battle with traditional fours, like David West, on the block.
But wait! This is my official statement that I want Trevor Booker to work on his deep shot and shoot threes next year. I’m crazy, I know, but if Booker develops a three-point game, he will be a nice piece moving forward. He was 0-for-4 from three this year and has never been a three-point shooter in his career, but his shot has improved each and every year over his four-year career. In his first year he was a 29.4 percent shooter from 10-16 feet and this year he shot 45.7 percent from 10-16 feet.
He shot just under 40 percent from 16 feet to the three point arc this season. Even if he can shoot around 30 percent from three next year, he becomes a valuable asset. He may lack the size to guard the power forward position, but if he can step out and hit a few threes he creates many problems for opposing teams. Booker’s best net rating of any two-man lineup was when he was with Gortat and if he could step out even more on offense with his play, those two could be even more formidable.
With all that said, Booker is a restricted free agent. I fully expect the Wizards to go re-sign him and I think they should because Booker has a lot of room to grow as a player. Even if he doesn’t take up my proclamation for him to work on his three-point shot, his high energy and total effort is a reason to keep him in D.C.