My Take on Recent Transactions, Part 1

I know that it has been a while since my last article.  For the five or six of you who gave me a view, I apologize.  Today, I plan on analyzing some of the recent transactions.  I apologize if the ordering is a little haphazard, but I intend to finish this segment tomorrow, which should cover the other major deals.

I’ll start with the Nets.  I am not especially fond of the Deron Williams max contract.  Wins Produced shows that Deron has never been more than a borderline star-his highest Wins Produced Per 48 number was .211 in 2007-08 and 2009-10.  Last year, he was well below average, largely due to a dramatic drop in his scoring efficiency and a noticeable increase in turnovers.  Granted, those two changes are probably side-effects of playing on a bad team; Jordan Williams, Kris Humphries, Gerald Wallace, and Shelden Williams were the only above-average players with a meaningful amount of playing time, while both Jordan and Gerald played less than 1,000 minutes in Newark.  Historically, he has produced an outstanding amount of assists ever since his rookie season.  On the other hand, warranted or not, Williams is also saddled with the blame for Jerry Sloan’s resignation.  He also has always taken more shot attempts than the average point guard.  I am not trying to suggest that Deron Williams is a bad player-I don’t think he is.  What I am trying to say is that Deron Williams is not quite worth a max contract.  There is a danger that it will soon smell of Carmelo Anthony or Amare Stoudemire.

There is also the proposed Joe Johnson trade which will send Johnson to Brooklyn in exchange for Anthony Morrow, Jordan Williams, Jordan Farmar, DeShawn Stevenson, Johan Petro, and the Rockets’ 2013 first round pick.  There are lots of things to consider here.

For one, Johnson is greatly overpaid.  A player who is not significantly above-average should not be paid max money.  For another, Brooklyn is surrendering a lot of expiring contracts, which have high trade value.  Jordan Williams is a good young player who does everything decently well except get assists, while Farmar’s per-48 minute Wins Produced rate was higher than Deron’s.  However, Petro and Stevenson were both below 0, and Anthony Morrow produced less than 1 win in over 1,500 minutes of play, and all three are inefficient scorers.  New Jersey’s giving up a lot, but they are also getting rid of a lot of bad deals.  I would favor Atlanta, but Brooklyn is not being taken to the cleaners per se.

I’ll get to the Marvin Williams trade in a second, but let me finish with the Nets first.  The way I see it, the Nets’ starting line-up will be Deron, Johnson, Gerald Wallace, Kris Humphries (who they will probably re-sign), and either Brook Lopez or Free Agent X, with MarShon Brooks as their sixth man.  Judging by his reputation as a rising star, I think that the Nets will stick with Lopez.  Surprisingly, of those six, only Brooks’s scoring efficiency is definitely below-average.  Of course, Lopez has had some injury issues, and he seemed to have stopped rebounding two years ago.  Using their WP48 from their last full seasons and a 2,750 minutes played assumption, those six would produce a total of 32.1 wins, but Brooks and Lopez will probably be better.  I see New Jersey as a slightly below-average play-off team.  I’ll save the Dwight Howard scenarios for another day.

Atlanta traded Marvin Williams to Utah for Devin Harris.  I question the logic of this trade.  Why would you trade a borderline star wing for a very average point guard, when you already have a better point guard, but not a comparable wing?  I understand that this may be a set-up for a Dwight Howard trade, but Howard his expressed interest in only one location-Brooklyn.  At the very least, the Hawks should have gotten a pick or two.

George Hill has agreed to re-sign with the Pacers, but the terms of the deal are as yet undisclosed.  I am going to hold out on giving my full opinion since I do not know the monetary details, but I like this deal so far.  Hill is a solid point guard whose main strengths are scoring efficiency and rebouding.  His assist numbers are pretty low, but I’ll live with that because he is a combo guard whose turnovers are also very low.  When it comes to the defensive statistics, he is average, and his Wins Produced indicates that he is a solid player.  In all honesty, I would love to have him as my second or third-best player, depending on if I have a genuine superstar or not.  My concern is that the Pacers may have overpaid for him by giving close to the maximum that he could have received, but Hill is a player that the Pacers should try to keep, especially since Roy Hibbert has a monster deal on the table.

Which brings us to Hibbert and his four year, $58 million deal.  This is a bit extreme to say the least.  Hibbert has had one solid season under his belt and a trio of poor ones.  His rebounding numbers are above-average, but he doesn’t do anything spectacularly other than block shots, and his scoring efficiency is not great.  At twenty-five, it’s safe to expect that he will not improve a great deal in the future, and he is going to tie up a lot of cap room.  Portland’s personnel decisions have been enigmatic of late; they should have just kept Wallace and Camby.  At least I’m not a Blazers fan-it’s almost worse than rooting for a team whose choices are predictably bad!

That’s all for tonight; see you tomorrow!  Hope you all had a wonderful Fourth of July.  Thank you for reading, and please comment.

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