Trevor Booker's hustle and physical play has convinced a significant fraction of Wizards fans that Grown Ass-Man has a place on a championship-caliber Washington squad. In what capacity is an open question, and Booker fans are divided into two camps. One, he's a starter. Two, he's a backup. I'm definitely in camp two, though I have a caveat. Trevor must have a mid-range jumpshot to be on that team of the future.
There's a fairly dismissive sentiment that a reliable jumper is one of the easiest assets to develop in the NBA. I'm not going to debate that one way or the other, although I feel there would be a lot more reliable jumpshooters in the NBA. Suffice it to say, counting our chickens before they hatch is one cliche we often indulge in to escape the present misery. While it's not as crucial to the franchise as, say John Wall's jumpshot, I believe it makes the difference between 1st or 2nd frontcourt player off the bench versus energy guy.
While increasing his rebound rate is important, especially on the defensive glass, if Booker is able to get that shot off reasonably well and follows his own shot a la Jordan Crawford to go with his explosive putback game, that's a spicy meatball. But just tossing that out hardly justifies a post, so let's spin a scenario where Trevor's jumpshot becomes a Princess of Druidia's industrial strength hairdryer. You can't live without it.
Everyone knows Flip enjoys playing mad scientist from time to time. One of his more conventional experiments is a gimmick we can live with on a situational basis, small ball. I think most of us can live with Nick Young at the 3 in those limited times where that's appropriate, especially with John Wall and Jordan Crawford leading the break. Stick Trevor at the 4 and whichever of our bigs feels like bringing the hammer down while sprinting up the floor should be a recipe for bake until done.
Our big can work setting the high screen or down low while Nick and Trevor space the wings and either Jordan or John working off the dribble should find themselves in space or facing help defense in such a way that a drive and kick might become a real threat.
While I loved Al Thornton's character, he fell to the bottom of a depth chart with more miles on it than a Montana school bus. With a legitimate jumper and working at the backup 3, Booker could be the rich man's Al Thornton, and that's something I'd be happy with. Owning the paint and spacing the floor while refusing to become a black hole is something every team needs. And if that rebounding becomes consistent? Fuggedaboutit.
And who knows, that jumper gets lethal enough and maybe he's starting a few years down the road, but at what position I couldn't tell you in the face of this draft, much less the next one. Hopefully the scenario I've painted comes off credible enough and shows you why a Trevor Booker with that kind of flexibility makes the Wizards a more dangerous team. In essence, I'm hoping that Book can be at the 3/4 for the Wizards what Lamar Odom is for the Lakers at the 4/5. An unselfish veteran who gives the team whatever it needs whenever it asks for it. Of course, if Book gets range out to the NBA three, it's doubtful he isn't starting...but it's nice to dream.
For now, it's all athleticism to score as teams cheat back on Booker, McGee, and John while gameplanning around Nick and daring JC to shoot the deep three. Well...maybe more Wizards than Trevor Booker need a jumpshot. All for cloning Sam Cassell, raise your hands.