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Trevor Booker making a strong first impression with Sixers

By Brandon Apter, Sports Talk Philly editor

The Philadelphia 76ers (14-13) snapped their four game losing streak on Tuesday, defeating the Minnesota Timberwolves (16-12) in overtime 118-112. Joel Embiid and J.J. Redick led Sixers scorers with 28 and 27, respectively, but newly-acquired forward Trevor Booker added a spark off the bench and has been very good since joining the team.

For a bench that has witnessed its fair share of struggled, seeing Trevor Booker come onto the court with energy on both sides of the ball is refreshing, even if the Sixers already have Amir Johnson and Richaun Holmes. Johnson seems to have a lost a lot of minutes to Holmes and Booker can do just about everything Johnson can do defensively while also scoring the ball, something Amir hasn't done consistently this season.

Trevor Booker has compiled 40 points, 22 rebounds and 7 assists in three games since joining the Sixers, shooting 15-23 from the floor. Here's a look at the game-by-game breakdown of Booker's first three games with the Sixers:

Trevor Booker since being traded to Sixers
Date Tm   Opp MP FG FGA FG% 3P 3PA 3P% FT FTA FT% ORB DRB TRB AST STL BLK TOV PF PTS
2017-12-09 PHI @ CLE 19:50 4 6 .667 0 0   4 4 1.000 4 4 8 2 0 1 2 1 12
2017-12-10 PHI @ NOP 24:41 5 9 .556 0 1 .000 6 7 .857 5 4 9 0 1 1 2 3 16
2017-12-12 PHI @ MIN 19:56 6 8 .750 0 0   0 0   2 3 5 5 2 1 0 0 12

While many believed Booker wouldn't get too many minutes at all with the amount of big men the Sixers have, he stepped up when Embiid was sidelined against Cleveland and New Orleans, scoring a total of 28 points and grabbing 17 rebounds. He followed those two games with a 12-point, five rebound and five assist effort against the Timberwolves, committing zero turnovers on a night that the Sixers coughed the ball up 26 times. Just three games into his Sixers tenure, Booker has clearly earned minutes and should continue to get played more even when Robert Covington returns. 

Taking a look at some of his highlights, it's clear that Booker's strengths on offense are creating opportunities for his teammates. In this sequence below, the 30-year-old vet sets a number of picks to find the open man. Unfortunately the Sixers don't capitalize, but it's a taste of what he adds off the ball for Philadelphia.

Booker is due to become a free agent at the end of the season, and if the Sixers have the opportunity to sign him at an affordable price, it would provide the team with a stabilizing big off the bench that can play solid basketball on both ends. Booker is making $9.25 million this season, so a low-risk one-year deal next year could be beneficial for both parties if things continue to go well this season. That being said, the Sixers could explore trades for Booker around the deadline this season if he keeps this up and Bryan Colangelo gets a good offer that gives the Sixers a draft asset.

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