Bryan Colangelo backed off on his reported asking price of a second-round pick in exchange for disgruntled center Jahlil Okafor, instead including a second-round pick and Nik Stauskas to collect a return. Colangelo didn't net a second-round pick, but the Sixers' general manager added roster relief in veteran power forward Trevor Booker.
Philadelphia is nearing deal to send center Jahlil Okafor to Brooklyn in deal that involves forward Trevor Booker, league sources tell Yahoo.— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) December 7, 2017
Colangelo reportedly prioritized the Nets' big man over landing his desired draft pick. Call it myopic, but Colangelo values Booker over scouring the free agent market for a backup four.
Philadelphia's roster currently stands at 14 available players while James Michael McAdoo and Jacob Pullen make up their two-way deals. According to Philly Voice's Kyle Neubeck, Colangelo isn't urgently filling the roster void left by two departing players.
Sixers have no immediate plan for use of 15th rotation spot created by trade, per a source. Sense is they will be opportunistic depending on other future moves/plans.— Kyle Neubeck (@KyleNeubeck) December 7, 2017
Inheriting a $9.12 million expiring contract, Colangelo conserved crucial cap space and provided Brett Brown with important frontcourt depth. According to Colangelo, per the team's press release, Booker should add additional fuel to this year's playoff aspirations.
"Trevor Booker has been a solid and competitive two-way contributor at every NBA stop. Trevor's abilities should complement our style of play and his experience should add to our bench depth with playoff contention in mind."
Philadelphia marks Booker's fourth team over the last five seasons, as the 30-year-old big seeks to prove he's worth Colangelo's minor investment. Let's dive into what Trevor Booker can offer a team currently in a tailspin.
The 6-foot-8, 228-pound power forward's notorious two-way energy resembles Amir Johnson's early-season performance off of the bench. Booker's relentless approach plays on the boards, when attacking off of the dribble and in general hustle. Regularly among the top-3 on his respective team in total rebound percentage, Booker could assist solving a nagging issue that's plagued Philadelphia throughout this season: allowing offensive rebounds.
Booker's defensive rebounds primarily come from uncontested opportunities, as he's prone to camping in the paint and pouncing on a carom. However, Booker's blend of physicality, instincts and energy suggests he's capable to win 50-50 defensive rebound battles. Booker's offensive rebounding value (3.5 OREB per 36 minutes) could allow him to stick on the floor if his jump shot is busted certain nights. Through back-taps, second and third Moses Malone type efforts, and using his linebacker-like frame to achieve positioning for put-backs, Booker could earn considerable admiration via effort.
Trevor Booker handling his business pic.twitter.com/jylnYgkTR8— BBALLBREAKDOWN (@bballbreakdown) November 30, 2017
If Booker didn't attempt anything outside of seven feet and hunted boards on both ends, he'd fulfill Johnson's role at the four - sans blocked shots. Pulling in 10.8 rebounds per 36 minutes, Booker could further bolster a Sixers team that's first in total rebounds per game (49.1).
Where's his offense coming from?
A polar opposite offensively to last year's in-season power forward addition, Ersan Ilyasova, Booker's throwback style could present spacing issues for Brett Brown's offense. In 18 games with Brooklyn, Booker attempted 83.4 percent of his shots from 10 feet and in. Booker's offensive attack is comprised mostly of hook shots, push shots, layups and put-backs. Without polish on his hooks and jumper, Booker's a tough fit in lineups that feature inconsistent offensive bigs.
Booker and Johnson's redundancy take that combination off of Brown's game plan. Booker seldom creates offense for himself, relying on facilitators to force a collapse into a dump off and throw him entry feeds. Booker's 23.1 percent three-point mark, as defenders won't bother closing out, and nonexistent mid-range game damages his gravity as a floor spacer. Booker's form looks aesthetically better than Holmes' and Johnson's, for what it's worth, but Booker's absence of a jumper allows defenders to sag and defensively control the paint.
Booker rarely dunks, making him an almost unusable pick-and-roll option when also accounting for his rough shooting touch. His 38.5 percent scoring frequency as the roll man in PnR situations rivals Quincy Acy and Ilyasova. While averaging 10.1 points on 51.3 percent shooting in 21.9 minutes per game should inspire confidence, Dario Saric is the more desirable offensive option.
Who's he playing with?
Booker logged as estimated 56 percent of his minutes this season at center, but given Philadelphia's three-deep at the five, don't expect Brown to experiment with Booker there in small-ball lineups. Presumably as a power forward, Booker's most favorable big combination would be playing alongside Joel Embiid. You can plug virtually anybody next to the 7'2" center in the frontcourt. Booker doesn't generate either steals nor blocks (0.4 SPG, 0.3 BPG) or space the floor. But with a full-featured center that stars in numerous roles on both ends of the floor, Booker can scrap his way to dump-off baskets while assuming his usual duty of energetic board cleaner. If Brown doesn't stagger Embiid into Booker's minutes, Richaun Holmes constantly putting pressure on the rim plays favorably into Booker's offensive rebounding.
Defensively, Booker's capable enough to work in either pairing. He seems to have nimble feet when moving laterally while his frame aids him in the post. His suboptimal size shows on both ends, unable to adequately contest as a traditional power forward and Booker's susceptible to defenders blocking his shot, but Booker's motor, mobility and strength make him a serviceable defensive big.
Don't anticipate a Dario Saric small forward experiment with Booker at PF, either.
Booker's intriguing vision as a facilitator pops on film, and it's refreshing to see him rarely force the situation. Playing with McConnell, if he's provided with an opportunity to handle it himself as a swing pass distributor or catches a feed on the block, Booker can be trusted to hit wings in their shooting pocket. For Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot and an inevitably returning Markelle Fultz, adding a capable frontcourt facilitator who Brooklyn relied on to create for others in situations is a boon to their development. All three should see playing time together on Brett Brown's second unit.
Does he roll out of bed with 10-and-five?
Doubtful, but a 5.0 PPG, 5.0 RPG, 1.5 APG guy whose Holmes-like energy and nonstop motor buff an underwhelming Sixers bench isn't anything to scoff at.
Booker allows Brett Brown to diagram creative out-of-bounds setups