Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Evaluating the NBA Off-Season Moves - Part 1

Using a four step methodology I will give you an evaluation of the off-season NBA movement.

Step 1: The Locke offensive rating. The league average is 10.8. The top 40 players in the NBA rate over 20. A little over 150 players or an average of 5 per team rate as above average offensive players.

Step 2: Was the players team better with the them on the floor than when he was off the floor. Credit for these numbers. Two things are hard to evaluate on traditional numbers, if a player helps his team win and if he plays defense. I believe this is a start. However, it has some flaws. It is best at recognizing a high profile player who has flaws and thus hurts his team or at finding bench players who really give a boost.

Step 3: Whose minutes is he taking.

Step 4: The eye test. We all have an eye for a player that goes beyond numbers.

Using this 4 part test. Here are the evaluations of some of the NBA’s off-season moves.

Rashard Lewis to the Orlando Magic

Step 1: Lewis ranks 20th in the NBA offensively. He is #2 as a small forward. He rates as a 22.7.

Step 2: Lewis had the best on floor/off floo +/- on the Sonics last season.

Step 3: Lewis will take the 31 minutes a night that Grant Hill played and cut into the minutes of Hedo Turkoglu. Hill had a terrible on floor/off floor last year for the Magic (-4.8) whereas Turkoglu seemed to be the opposite for the Magic. Hill was a very effective offensive player at 17.9 and Turkoglu was slightly below average at 9.4. Lewis will be a huge up grade for both.

Step 4: Lewis dramatically changes the Magic at the 3 position. His outside presence will compliment Howard perfectly. He will fulfill the primary scorer allowing Howard to play with less pressure and the other Magic players to be the compliments they are.

Steve Blake to Portland
Step 1: Blake is a dreadful offensive player. He rates at 2.1. A zero rating is designed to be equal to a D-League player entering the NBA. Blake only goes to the free throw line 4.2% of the possessions that end in his hand one of the worst rates in the NBA.

Step 2: Denver was a better team when Blake was on the floor than when he was off the floor. This credits Blake for doing somethings the correct way to help his team.

Step 3: He will take minutes from Jarrett Jack who rates as a 12.7 offensively. However, the Blazers were considerably less good when Jack was on the floor than they were when he was on the bench (nearly 4 points per 48 minutes).

Step 4: Blake plays hard and plays the game correctly. The Blazers aren't sold on Jack so you can see why they signed Blake. However on a team without Zach Randolph they will need some offense out of Blake and he is not capable.

Matt Carroll re-signs with Charlotte

Step 1: Carroll rates a 17.5 one of the better guards in the NBA. The top 40 in the NBA are over 20 and then he is in the next tier.

Step 2: Charlotte was a better team with Carroll on the floor.

Step 3: This is the key because the Bobcats went and acquired Jason Richardson from the Warriors in a bizarre draft day trade. Richardson rates as a 7.9 offensively player, below league average. He is high volume to get his results and Carroll is the opposite. Why the Bobcats would take Carroll's minutes with the acquisition of Richardson is surprising.

Step 4: Carroll plays the game the correct way and would be a brilliant complimentary on a good team.

Grant Hill to the Phoenix Suns
Step 1: Hill rates offensively as a 17.9 and I can only imagine what will happen when he plays with Steve Nash

Step 2: For Orlando Hill didn't work. The Magic were far better when he was on the bench. This is a disturbing trend for an aging player.

Step 3: James Jones played 18 minutes a night for Phoenix last year and had a terrible season. Also, the Suns struggled badly when Boris Diaw was on the floor last season.

Step 4: Hill is a signing that might help the Suns win a championship.

Morris Peterson to the New Orleans Hornets
Step 1: Mo Pet rates as a 12.8 offensively which is nice for a player coming off the bench

Step 2: Mo was an awful fit for Toronto. The Raptors were 8 points better per 48 minutes with Mo on the bench than on the floor. This should be worrisome for the Hornets.

Step 3: Rasual Butler and Desmond Mason played these minutes for the Hornets and both were very poor offensively and the team struggled with both on the floor.

Step 4: This might be a subtle move but it may make a considerable difference for the Hornets.

Darko Millic to Memphis

Step 1: Darko rates as a 3.0 offensively which puts him near the D-League offensively.

Step 2: Orlando was a less good team with Millic on the floor than on the bench.

Step 3: Who does he replace? Memphis had no big man. If Darko takes the minutes of Stromile Swift or rookie Alexander Johnson he can only help but be an upgrade.

Step 4: Seeing Darko last year at times he impacted the game, but in other sequences he was the worst player on the floor.

More to come .........

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Blake has same TS% as Ridnour but had 30% lower usage of possessions personally. He may be horrible on LOS but it mainly from the low usage, which may or may not be a problem for a particular team.In 05-06 in Portland he usage was 25% higher than he had in Denver and he shot better. Portland has an easier time making this call based on knowing him in Portland, under the curent coach. I think Blake shots more than in Denver and is probably a decent pickup given their team. He can be trusted to feed the other guys more often and better than Jack and with less flash/risk than Sergio.

Hill to Phoenix impact depends how many shots he gets there and the pecking order. I assume his shots per game will be way down from his Orlando rate and he will be much lower on shot totem pole. I think Hill's impact is a plus but probably only small to moderate.

Your 4 step thought process is a pretty good way to write about moves, with steps 2 definitely needing step 3 attached. The rest of the stats in addition to the shooting are important though and either need to fall in step 4 or become 1B.

I asm generally in agreement on the assessments of the move impact of the other 4 guys.