Last summer’s NBA trades: who’s winning?

Everyone’s talking about the deals that are going down at the All-Star break, and who the winners and losers might be.  What about the deals that went down last summer?  Who’s winning those?  I decided to evaluate.

Since a lot of the NBA’s trades are basically phony salary dumps, I’m going to limit my analysis to two clear player swaps:  Artest for Ariza (Actually I don’t think that was even a de jure trade — but it was a de facto trade) and Okafor-for-Chandler.

Artest vs. Ariza:  Advantage Lakers

Click Here to see the Artest-Ariza Comparison Win Chart

Last summer I did an analysis of this trade.  Based on their career Win numbers, the “trade” looked pretty even, with a slight edge to the Rockets.  But one thing gave me pause.  Ariza’s numbers, though better, seemed much more erratic.

Ariza seemed like the type of player who would and could be a significant win producer when asked to be, and yet could also be an inefficient loss producer when allowed to be.

This season the Rockets have given him free reign to take bad shots.  Bad idea.  Ariza’s win production decline is almost exclusively due to his huge decline in marginal scoring efficiency, and slightly because of a decline in marginal rebounding.

So the Lakers have gotten the better end of this swap.  But don’t let that fool you into thinking they are better off with Artest.  Artest has not produced like last season’s Ariza, so the Lakers have actually slightly declined in that sense.

Both players are well off their career norms, its just that Ariza is further off.

Okafor vs. Chandler:  Advantage Hornets

When I analyzed this trade last summer I said it very well looked like advantage to the Bobcats, but I threw in this caveat.  Tyson Chandler’s production declined in 2008-09.  If that was the beginning of a permanent decline, then the advantage would go to the Hornets.  But that didn’t seem likely, given Chandler’s consistency in the year’s prior and his age.  But it has  happened.  The bottom has completely fallen out of Chandler’s performance and his physical reliability.

Click Here to see the Okafor vs. Chandler Comparison Win Chart

As you can see, Tyson Chandler has been neither available nor good.  If you compare his performance to his career norms, he’s way off.  I’m not familiar with his physical condition, but his career trajectory appears to be pointing downward.

So the Hornets clearly got the better of this deal.  But, once again, neither player in the trade is playing well.  So in a sense, neither team won this trade either.

Okafor’s numbers are the worst of his career.  In his case, the problem is he is scoring less efficiently while his counterpart centers are scoring more efficiently.  The net result is lower win production.

So it seems neither of the big two player swaps has been a net positive for any of the participants, but if you’re doing a relative scoring, so far its advantage Lakers and huge advantage Hornets.

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5 Responses to “Last summer’s NBA trades: who’s winning?”

  1. Palamida Says:

    Hey.
    Nice to see that rain of posts :p.
    I think the Was\Dal trade deserves a post, is Grunfeld really that daft? i’m guessing they plan to decline the team option on J. howard thus effectively making his contract an expiring one, but still… He’s blowing it up? great! why not get a couple picks? young talent? that’s the best he can do for Haywood\Butler? unreal.
    On the same note, what is up with this Cavs business? it’s been reported that Amare for Big z’s contract and J.J hickson is in place. Cavs “B” plan (lol)
    T. Murphy for the same exact package; I get Phx wanting to unload amare but what’s so great about Hickson? he hasn’t shown anything to suggest his more than a borderline starter; It’s very easy to conjure up trade scenarios that “we” would do in a heartbeat because the misconceptions cause many players to be vastly under\overrated, but how about trades that these Moronic Gm’s would go for that actually make some sense?
    For example, here’s a nicer way for PHX to unload Amare – i’m wondering if you or any of the readers believe that the Gm’s involved would pull the trigger on this one:
    Three way day between Phx\Bos\Chi.
    Phx sends J. Rich (2 yrs, 13.3m) to Boston, Amare (2 yrs, 16.6) to Chi.
    Chi sends Tyrus Thomas (1 yr, 4.7m), Brad Miller (1 yr, 12.5m) and their first (or second) round pick to Phx.
    Boston sends Ray Allen (1 yr, 18.7) to Phx.
    Here’s how I see it: PHX can’t contend atm. prior to the trade she puts in place a reasonably priced extention for Thomas whom Chi is dying to get rid of. Allen and Miller this year would still contribute and her meek playoff run could still run it’s course. Next season Phx is practically free on any long term commitments apart from Nash (and presumably Thomas). Miller and Allen are 30m off the books and they are free to participate in the 2010\11 FA sweepstakes.
    Chi finally gets rid of Thomas and for the price of a pick (probably not even a lottery pick) and Brad’s miller corpse and contract, get Amare. While overrated, Playing alongside Noah, Deng and rose he might be motivated and play at a level closer to his career highs. that’s a core whose attractive to the fans\media (for what’s that worth) and all are either young or in their primes.
    Bos sheds some salary (with the luxury tax that’s doubled) and actually gets not only an upgrade as the aging Allen is no match for J. rich atm, they also get Rich. for another season whereas if Kg and PP still have enough in the tank they can make another run with this core, no doubt J.rich is a huge upgrade over next season’s Allen.
    So how about it?
    and a quick one while i’m at it: Barbosa (2 yrs, 6.6) for Scalabrine (1 yr, 3.4) and Eddie House (1 yr 2.8). Phx sheds 6.6m for 2011, and Barbosa whose way off his career numbers (only played about 500 mins this season) can backup both Guard positions and be a nice upgrade for Bos, IMO.
    THoughts?
    P.s I apologize in advance but this trade deadline is driving me nuts, with so many rumors of simply terrible, awful trades i’m gonna look for some more fun ones, and share them :p

    • tywill33 Says:

      Do you mind if I do a bit of a stale post on the weekend about it? That’s when I have the most time to think and write about basketball, particularly Sundays… as it appears you’ve figured out!! I think others have as well. Yesterday (Monday) was far and away the best traffic day in the short history of this independent blog. The great thing about it also is that almost none of the traffic is referral, meaning the blog has a bit of a cult following. I’d like to show appreciation by posting more, but I just can’t.

      But you’ve hit on a great topic. And it seems as though you’ve already applied some solid analytical thinking to these matters. Thanks for the great comments.

  2. TC from Racine Says:

    heh, so the gist of this seems to be: Ariza has Jennings’ most notable offensive problem and Chandler’s “suck when healthy/never healthy” schtick mirrors Redd’s.

    • tywill33 Says:

      I think Ariza is a little like I used to be. If I was on the court with willing shooters, I would restrict myself to high percentage shots… to the team’s benefit. If I was on the court with guys who didn’t like to shoot, I thought I was Jordan’s little brother, taking any kind of crazy attempt… to the team’s detriment.

      I have a theory about how each player has a “shot governor”, but I won’t get into it here.

      As for Chandler, I’m not familiar with his condition. He was mainly a high volume secondary statistic producer. Maybe he relied on physical capabilities for that, and maybe he just doesn’t have them anymore. I just don’t know.

      • TC from Racine Says:

        as nobody I know follows the Hornets or Bobcats, your guess is as good as mine, though I don’t recall him being all that injury prone when he was with the Bulls, just that the Bulls fans in the family, like Bulls fans in general, seemed a bit underwhelmed with him. Maybe he handled it like Redd, didn’t get enough rehab in and came back too soon, I’m just throwing out my best guess though.

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