Booker heads into uncertain offseason

Booker heads into uncertain offseason
April 13, 2013, 6:15 pm
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Trevor Booker's minutes over the last five games epitomize sporadic: 15, 6, 7, 0, 25. Though the playing time has been a touch more stable over the season, the third-year forward is averaging fewer than 18 per game. That puts Booker in the playing mix most nights, but less than his sophomore campaign when he averaged 25 minutes.

Based on the Wizards current roster, based on skill set the energy forward has demonstrated to date, it's hard imagining his role increasing.

Booker seems to sense this as well.

"Right now they've got me as a role player," Booker said before Friday's home finale against the 76ers. "I accept that role, but I can score more. I know my capabilities.

"Next year I'm sure they'll see it - whether I'm here or with another team."

The idea that Booker, a first round pick in 2010, could land elsewhere next season seems logical in that it's unreasonable to think the Wizards can bring all members of their young frontcourt.

Chris Singleton and Jan Vesely have also witnessed a dramatic decrease in minutes from last season, but with much larger stretches of inactivity as second-year players. Wizards coach Randy Wittman might play two of the forwards in a single game, but rarely all three, certainly not for extended minutes.

Unlike his fellow 2010 first-round selection, Kevin Seraphin's minutes and scoring has increased slightly, but the center's overall game regressed in his third season.

Though not sporting identical skill sets, there is significant overlap among the forwards. With Nene, Emeka Okafor, Trevor Ariza and either free agent Martell Webster or another perimeter threat in the rotation, there are not many minutes are available.

Asked if he agrees about the logjam scenario, Booker said, "Maybe in some sense. It's just tough because some nights you're going to play and some night you're not. It's kind of tough not knowing if you're really going to get out there.

"It's kind of tough to get into a rhythm. Just keep working. I'm sure the other guys feel the same way, Chris, Jan, Kev. Just keep working and when our number is called we're going to try and produce."

Essentially all of Booker's averages and percentages are down in this frustrating season, one that has again including injuries. A strained right knee suffered against the Pacers on Nov. 19 cost him 24 games and any shot at finding his rhythm.

Entering the final two games Booker is averaging career-lows with 5.0 points, 48.0 field goal percentage, 56.3 from the free throw line. He's grabbing 1.8 fewer rebounds than last year's 6.5 average.

Typically, players of Booker's tenure do not show up at the Las Vegas Summer League except as spectators. The former Clemson product has no intention of bucking this trend or incorporating the annual event as part of his offseason preparations. He could venture West assuming his brother Devin, who just wrapped up his senior season at Clemson, is on a participating team.

"Just doing my own thing. I know what I need to work on," Booker said of his offseason plans. "I'm definitely not playing summer league. I don't see the point in me playing summer league. Just come back, got to get healthy first. Next year show what I can do."

Whether that's here or elsewhere.