Michael Scotto, credentialed NBA columnist who covers the New York Knicks and Brooklyn Nets, tweeted out that the Utah Jazz, along with other teams (the New York Knicks, Brooklyn Nets, Miami Heat, Washington Wizards, Orlando Magic, and Minnesota Timberwolves) are interested in WAS Free Agent Trevor Booker. It's not just Scotto who thinks so, Michael Lee, of the Washington Post, also thinks so.
Trevor Booker has drawn interest from several teams including the Knicks, Nets, Heat, Wizards, Magic, Timberwolves and Jazz, sources confirm— Michael Scotto (@MikeAScotto) July 2, 2014
Trevor Booker is an unrestricted free agent & has attracted interest from several teams (MIA, MIN, UTA, BKN, NYK, ORL & WAS), sources say— Michael Lee (@MrMichaelLee) July 1, 2014
Yeah. So two beat writers for different clubs have either the same information from the same source, or are finding out things on their own. In both cases (most likely his agent Andy Miller) suggests Utah is an option.
Among the players Andy Miller (ASM sports) also manages are: Alec Burks, Daniel Gibson, Brendan Haywood, Ersan Ilyasova, Sergey Karasev, Kyle Lowry, Jason Maxiell, Milt Palacio, Peyton Siva, Chauncey Billups, Kevin Garnett, Travis Leslie, Kenyon Martin, Eric Maynor, Timofey Mozgov, Nerlens Noel, Andray Blatche, Jamal Crawford, Reggie Evans, J.J. Hickson, Serge Ibaka, Roger Mason Jr., Andre Miller, Erik Murphy, Jeff Teague, and Isaiah Thomas . All in all, there are 69 players signed by him. Some of them big free agents, some of them current or former Utah Jazz players.
This looks like agent speak to me -- get my guy in rumors, get teams interested, maybe then I'll give you more access to a player you are really interested in. The Jazz have to talk to Miller this off-season about both Burks and Murphy. Booker's name will probably come up.
But who is Booker? Booker was a first round draft pick of the Minnesota Timberwolves (2010 #23), and traded to the Wizards. (He was originally traded, as a future pick, by the Utah Jazz with Gordan Giricek for Kyle Korver back in 2007, by the way....) He has played for years with their club and is a Paul Millsap body type -- a power forward who is under 6'9 and really thick. As a 6'7 PF he needs his 240 lb bulk. He was an okay college player at Clemson and finished his senior year with averages of 15.2 ppg and 8.4 rpg. He did take threes, and over his for year career there went 23/71, that's good enough for 32.4% from the college line.
At the NBA level he has played in 4,910 total minutes in the regular season and playoffs combined, over 244 games. That's playing 20.12 MPG, which isn't bad. He's been a rotation player getting irregular minutes on a playoff team. In his time in the NBA he hasn't shown much range (1/10 from deep over four years), and is either consistently injured, or inconsistently getting the call from his head coaches. Last season he played in 72 games, the most of his NBA career.
Trevor is nearly a double double guy by Per 36 minute extrapolations, and his PER is at a 15.0 mark -- absolutely average. He doesn't kill it on the glass, or block shots. But he is a good example of what a #23 pick gets you in the NBA today. Solid rotation guy, very low ceiling. He was part of a stacked front court in Washing that also boasted Marcin Gortat, Nene Hilario, Drew Gooden, and Al Harrington. Yet he still played 20 mpg.
Why this makes sense...
The Utah Jazz need everything. Front court depth shouldn't be a problem, but it could be if Marvin Williams goes somewhere else. Booker doesn't have a lot of guard skills, so we better hope that Jeremy Evans learns to dribble, otherwise both of these guys will be competing for minutes. Booker was a 1st rounder, and these guys are usually good. I don't know how much money is being thrown around, but if so many other teams are interested in him, maybe we should be too?
Why this doesn't make sense...
Utah has a ton of guys who are young. Booker, going into this fifth year in the league, isn't a young guy. But I don't know if he's that great of a player. I am going to watch him in Synergy later on tonight to find out more about him. But for the Jazz I think the rumors of the Jazz having interest have more to do with keeping Alec Burks' agent happy.
The Jazz may not really be interested, but will play along long enough to get what they want. If nothing else, and Booker remains unsigned, I could see him being a training camp invite. He's a solid shooter (55.1 FG% last year), but can't make his free throws, and doesn't bring a lot to the table. He does have 12.2 career Winshares, and Derrick Favors has only 13.5 for his career in a Jazz uniform. So maybe he's not just a filler player at all, but an actual rotation one?