NBA Trade Analysis

In this post, I am going to review the recent Monta Ellis trade and talk about some possible Dwight Howard deals that should (but probably won’t) go down during tomorrow’s trade deadline.  dwighthowarddeals is where you can find my statistics tables.  (Composite is equal to [(1.5 times Win Shares/48) +Wins Produced/48/2.5].)  I suggest that you look at my tables when you read the article; they back really back up my opinions.

First, we’ll cover the Golden St.-Milwaukee swap.  In it, Golden St. traded Monta Ellis, Ekpe Udoh, and Kwame Brown to Milwaukee in exchange for Andrew Bogut and Stepehn Jackson.  Based on this year’s statistics alone, it’s pretty clear that Milwaukee got the better part of the deal.  Even though none of the players have been even remotely average this year, the two best players in this swap according to both Composite and Win Shares now play for Milwaukee (Ekpe Udoh and Monta Ellis).  After that though, it starts to get hairy.

First of all, injuries have limited both Andrew Bogut and Kwame Brown to less than ten games this year.  Both guys are out until play-off time.  HIstory suggests that Bogut will be better next year (for his career he has been above-average, and significantly so according to Wins Produced), while Brown is unpredictable (his stats have fluctuated, and he’s at the age when player’s start “falling off the cliff”.)  I take it that Bogut will return to the realm of very good despite the fact that he is peaking, and Brown will be neither a star nor a scrub next year.

But wait; there’s more!  Regardless of how good the former No. 1 overall pick will be next year, he’s a free agent this summer!  There is no guarantee that Brown will even stick around next year.  He may become a worthless rental.

Furthermore, Monta Ellis has a big-time albatross contract.  His current salary is $11 million, and he will make that same wage for the next two years!  He’s highly overrated, and he is well-known for his ability to dominate the ball.  Brandon Jennings, Milwaukee’s incumbent point guard, is also known to be an overrated player who dominates the ball.  I wonder how that’ll work out….

Ekpe Udoh is an okay player with “upside”.  Upside is a powerful word often used to greatly overvalue young players.  Believe it or not, Udoh is already 24, and he is only a couple years away from his peak; who knows if he’ll make the jump to an elite (or even average) player.  As he is still on his rookie contract, his salary shouldn’t be much of an issue, though.

However, Milwaukee did not get fleeced; they unloaded the terrible Stephen Jackson.  Jackson is a sub-zero player by both measures, yet he obtains a hefty paycheck of $9.256 million this year, and he’s not on an expiring deal.  Luckily, there’s only one more year left on his contract (which will hopefully be his last in the NBA).  Unfortunately, Marc Jackson is bound to play him; he’s a scorer after all.  Too bad; this was a wasted opportunity to give the superb (according to Wins Produced) or average (according to Win Shares) Brandon Rush more minutes at shooting guard.

The verdict: Milwaukee wins this trade in the short term, but if Bogut’s back at his normal level, Golden St. seals the deal with a win.

Now, I’m going to cover two proposals for a Dwight Howard trade; one where the Lakers acquire him, and one where the Nets do.  I’ll start with the Lakers.

My proposal is that the Lakers trade Kobe Bryant, Andrew Bynum, and the Lamar Odom pick to Orlando for Dwight Howard, Ryan Anderson, Jameer Nelson, Jason Richardson, and Glen Davis.

Wait, what!  Trade Kobe?  No way!

Yes, way.  I’ll tell you why: Kobe is an old, overrated, extremely overpaid ballstopper who needs to go.

In a nutshell, you’re trading the No. 2 center in the league (Bynum), a very good shooting guard (Kobe), and a late first round pick in a deep draft for the No. 1 center in the league (Dwight), the most underrated player in the league (Anderson), a decent point guard (Nelson), a suitable replacement at the 2 who is old but still has some years left (J-Rich), and a total albatross who was thrown in to balance the whole thing out (Davis).

According to Wins Produced, Ryan Anderson is the tenth-best player in the league, Dwight is eleventh, Bynum’s in the mid-twenties, J-Rich is a bit above average, and everyone else is below the .099 threshold.  This trade is almost fair because Davis is so bad and Nelson is only a slight upgrade at the point.  (Of course, every minute Nelson plays can allow Fish, Blake, or J-Rich to supplant the overrated Goudelock at the 2).  Howard, Anderson, and Bynum are the only underpaid players in this deal, and Howard won’t be for long.  Plus there’s that first round pick.  According to PER (measuring public perception), this deal isn’t too squiggy either.  The Lakers win out, but Orlando gets a nice haul.

My other idea is that Dwight (by himself) goes to New Jersey for Brook Lopez, Kris Humprhies, MarShon Brooks, Anthony Morrow, and Damion James.  I’m sure the Nets take this deal, but in reality it’s a bit of a suckerpunch.  We all know know about Dwight.  Here’s the Nets package:

Lopez: A young. overrated center who is a poor rebounder, oft-injured, and on an expiring deal.  His numbers for this season are a bit skewed since he reinjured himself after five games, but he’s only  a tad bit above average when he is health according to both statistics, although Wins Produced rated him as sub-zero last year.  Ouch!

Humprhies: a very good 4 in his prime on an expiring deal.  If the Nets had a better supporting cast, a player comparable to him and a 1st round pick would have sealed it.

Brooks: Young, fairly overrated scorer.  This guy will become a good player, but he may or may not become a star.

Morrow: A pretty good shooting guard.  Somewhat underrated by the media (but not by PER), he’s a solid player.

James: Injured, on an expiring deal, and only good according to Wins Produced last year.

This is a good deal for the Nets, an okay deal for the Magic, and that’s that.  Of course, this creates a logjam at shooting guard  for the Magic with J-Rich, but this might be as good as it gets.

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