During the Wizards’ series-clinching Game 5 over the Bulls, TNT announcer Steve Kerr declared Trevor Booker his new favorite player. “Cook Book,” as he’s affectionately referred to on Twitter by his fans, is a little-known, undersized, hoops grimester of a power forward who has played crucial minutes for DC all season along.
We’ll forgive him for his Booker ignorance. After all, who else is singing Cook Book’s praises? Kerr has a clear respect that trashman grind, probably from his days playing alongside Trashman coaches Dennis Rodman and Bruce Bowen.
Where Booker stands among today’s dumpster-divers of the NBA, though, is a question we’ll answer using an exercise AGR goes through every season: selecting this year’s Frank Reynolds Trashman Team. Scoring might bring home the bacon, but without a love for basketball filth, no one brings home the rings.
Qualifying rules*: A Frank Reynolds Trashman can average no more than 12.0 points per 36 minutes for the 2013-14 season. Beyond that, the selections are stats-informed but subjective. The overarching goal is to compose the best team possible while also honoring the best individual players. In the tables below, we’ve also included a minimum* for total minutes (700), PER (10.0), and WS/48 (.100), and RPM (0). All tables are sorted by total Win Shares.
Point Guard: Patrick Beverley
Last year’s starter at point guard is back for more trash. After trudging through years of basketball grime in Ukraine, Greece, and Russia, Beverley came onto the NBA scene last year. He’s already one of the most loved and hated players in the NBA, as evidenced by his coverage on Grantland. Among qualified point guards, he’s third in WS/48 and has the best RPM of the group. As true trashmen are known to do, he’ll play through the toughest conditions. He may lack Rubio’s passing or Prigioni’s efficiency, but his well-rounded, dogged style of play is perfect as Frank Reynolds’ starter.
Wings: Andre Iguodala and Draymond Green
Believe it or not, there are only two qualified wing players for this year’s trashman team, and both are Golden State Warriors. Last year, seven players qualified. And while this year we added an extra criteria (above-average RPM), that only disqualified one player (P.J. Tucker). Apparently wing players these days have been watching too much Jamal Crawford and not enough Bruce Bowen.
Many don’t typically think of the Warriors as trashman-friendly franchise, but they’d be mistaken. A) Their former coach, Mark Jackson, has historically doubled as the point guard coach for the Frank Reynolds Trashman Team, B) Oakland has a notable love for grime, and C) these two garbage-lovin’ ballerz were a huge reason the Dubs’ D ranked fourth league-wide. Iggy’s offensive load has precluded him from qualifying in years past, but he has always channeled an inner trashman into his game. This year his RPM ranked third league-wide, just behind LeBron and Chris Paul and right ahead of Kevin Durant. I think Frank Reynolds just busted a grime-nut.
Big Men: Josh McRoberts and DeAndre Jordan
Dumpster digits. Nasty numbers. Smutty stats. Mucky metrics. Whatever you want to call them, DeAndre Jordan has them. For years his penchant for dunks didn’t match his desire for dirt. Now, he’s a Grade A trashman in every respect, manning the middle for this putrid pack of players.
McRoberts is a tougher choice, but he gets the nod for several reasons. First, he bears a striking resemblance to Frank Reynolds’ son and universally admired trashman, Charlie Kelly. If anything, he looks grimier nowadays than he used to. Second, the team will benefit from Josh McBob’s versatility; his passing and shooting will come in handy on the team. Trashmen are all about being handy, especially when they are under the table.
Some thoughts before I leave for my weekly trash-rub.
- It was interesting that adding an additional qualifier (> 0.0 RPM) seemed to disqualify big men more than wings or guards. No point guards were disqualified and P.J. Tucker was the only wing; meanwhile, nine big men were ruled out for their below average RPM including Kerr’s favorite player, Trevor Booker.
- It is still startling that so few wing players qualified–that might say something about the paucity of quality swingmen, their frequent roles as scorers, or both.
- The 12.0 PTS/36 cutoff was arbitrary. This is the fourth incarnation of the Frank Reylonds Trashman Team, and the first two years used a 15.0 PTS/36 cutoff. While that’s too much scoring for my grime-loving self, I’d feel bad if I didn’t give these quasi-trashmen love. Below is a table of qualified players who scored between 12.0 and 15.0 PTS/36, sorted by Win Shares (note: I didn’t look up RPM for these players but they can be found here).
Who do you think is the best trashmen in the NBA? Who would make Frank Reynolds proud? Comment on the article or e-mail us at AGRbasketball (at) gmail (dot) com. Don’t forget to follow @AGRbasketball on Twitter and like us on Facebook.