TBG Player Preview 2017-18: Trevor Booker

Trevor Booker
(AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
(AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

Trevor Booker, Power Forward

2016-17:  24.7 MPG, 10 PPG, 51.6 FG%, 8.0 RPG, 1.9 APG, 0.4 BPG, 1.1 SPG 

Who is Trevor Booker? 

The 6-foot, 8-inch left-handed Clemson alumnus is set to embark on his eighth season in the NBA. To call Trevor Booker just a basketball player may, in fact, be a bit insulting to the 29-year-old. According to Business Insider, Booker is quite the entrepreneur investing in real estate as well as owning 18 companies that span from sports academies to record labels, to even a private school! Booker has also kept his offseason busy with his wife and two kids, some of this time including a difficult explanation of what the ABC show Shark Tank actually is. 

2016-17 Recap

One of the founding members of the “headband gang,” Booker personified himself to Brooklyn fans last season as a player who enjoys the grit of basketball, hard work and relentless hustle. This continuous effort, combined with Kenny Atkinson’s coaching staff, helped Booker achieve career-highs in points, rebounds, assists, steals, minutes per game, shots per game and three-pointers attempted/made.

Atkinson’s offensive system, comprised of constant ball movement fixated on finding the open shot, allowed Booker to showcase his three-point shot. Although he only shot 32.1 percent from three, defenders began to notice and respect his willingness to shoot it from deep, allowing him to either drive to an easier shot or pass to an open man. Although his three-point shooting was only marginally better than past seasons, him having the green light to shoot from deep correlated with his assist and point total going up last season.

Appearing in 71 games, Booker spent more than half his season starting at the power forward. However, due to team struggles, Atkinson opted to start Rondae Hollis-Jefferson at the four, bringing Booker off the bench in a sixth-man-type role. This move helped Brooklyn finish the final two months of its season at 11-13.

What does he bring in 2017-18?

Booker will be entering the final year of a two-year, 18-million dollar contract he signed last offseason. After notching career-highs in most major statistical categories, the Brooklyn Nets will need him to improve even more. With former franchise player Brook Lopez off in LA, the Nets front court is left somewhat thin. Sure, Timofey Mozgov will start, but his career 18.5 MPG leaves plenty of minutes still up for grabs.

It’s unlikely that 2017 first round pick Jarrett Allen plays a serious role in the rotation, so more often than not the Nets will be deploying smaller lineups where Booker probably will find himself playing the center position. A lineup featuring RHJ, DeMarre Carroll and Booker could cause problems for most teams in the NBA, all three being high-energy players that can impact the momentum of any game.

It will be interesting to see how the duo of Booker and Quincy Acy will continue to develop, as the two began to gel playing together at the end of last season. Both are gritty players with high motors whose offensive and defensive styles complement each other well when brought together. I would be surprised if Atkinson does not have them on the court together at least once each game. 

Highlight Reel

It’s either immoral or illegal to leave this video out of any type of Booker highlight package: 


His best game of the 2016-17 year:


Classic Booker hustle game – didn’t shoot well, but the effort made up for it and more. Also, revenge games are always sweet:


Bottom Line

Life without Lopez will be a huge adjustment for both the team and the fanbase, having been a big part of the organization as well its offensive game plan for so long, and it may take some time for the change to settle in. It will take a group effort to make up for the loss of Lopez in the front court, and Booker headlines this group. As an unrestricted free agent, next season will be extra motivation for a big pay day.

The Brooklyn Game Player Previews: Quincy Acy, Jarrett Allen