After two years as the Rockets’ stopper,
P.J. Tucker is looking to secure the bag. Tucker has two seasons and $16.3
million left on his current contract, at the
end of which he will be 36 years old. Tucker’s motivation in seeking a contract
extension is entirely sensible; his market value is high, meaning he is
deserving of a raise. Signing an extension now would also guarantee his income
into the final phase of his career. Asking for an extension is the smart move
for Tucker, but what should the Rockets do?
In the last four seasons, P.J. Tucker has
compiled 17.3 Wins, an average of 4.3 per season. 14.4 of those wins (83.2%)
have come on the defensive end, and Tucker is known by reputation around the
league as a defensive specialist.
Rebounding has traditionally been the domain
of big men throughout NBA history. As perimeter players have grown larger and
more athletic, however, it has become more and more important for outside
players to help out on the boards. Indeed, the last three seasons have even
featured a guard (Russell Westbrook) averaging over 10 rebounds per game on his
way to averaging a triple double.
Who are the best-rebounding guards in the league? To answer this question, I evaluated the relative difficulty of acquiring each rebound based on whether the rebound was contested or uncontested. By finding the success rates for the offense and the defense on each type of rebound and comparing the expected value with the observed value in each case, I was able to assign an appropriate value for each type of rebound – contested defensive rebounds, uncontested defensive rebounds, contested offensive rebounds, and uncontested defensive rebounds. The result gives us the total rebounding value added by each player. (For a more detailed description of the method for evaluating rebounds, consult The Basketball Bible)
Isaac’s NBA journey began inauspiciously as the number six overall pick by the
Orlando Magic. He looked to be at risk of becoming yet another highly talented
prospect drafted by a losing franchise whose career becomes a study in
disappointment and squandered potential. Two years later, after a breakout
season by Nikola Vucevic powered the Magic to a surprising playoff berth, it is
time to consider whether or not Jonathan Isaac can be part of a brighter future
Yesterday I outlined a method to accurately grade offseason moves based on an analysis of the cost of wins in the NBA, the relationship between performance and salary, and a rubric to help the grades make sense. Today, I’m presenting the first annual NBA Offseason Data Crunch, in which I evaluate every move made by every team this summer. Before you dig in, there are two caveats:
In what follows I will evaluate all acquisitions in terms of the player’s value relative to the value of his contract. This means that for trades, we are not interested (right now) in figuring out which team won or lost the trade. There is a time for evaluating trades in that manner, but today’s analysis will consider moves purely in terms of cost efficiency.
The data crunch will deal only with players who are likely to impact winning or losing NBA games this year, and players whose impact we are able to reliably estimate. Rookies and future draft picks, as they do not have any NBA data, are difficult to forecast with the same accuracy as existing NBA players, so I will leave them aside for now.
Lakers trade NOP for Anthony Davis
start with the easiest transaction to grade. Acquiring AD was a home run for
the Lakers. Davis is projected to make over a little over $27 million next
season, followed by a player option for 2020-21. In the three seasons prior to
last year, Davis averaged 12.6 wins per season. At that rate, we would
anticipate AD to generate roughly $118.3 million worth of value, meaning that
the Lakers are getting a 91 million dollar surplus from trading for AD. Of
course, they did have to give up something to get him …
time of year, NBA analysts, fans, and front offices are all concerned with cost
efficiency. Free agent season stimulates near-constant conversation evaluating
each new contract as a good deal, bad deal, or fair deal. What is the basis of
all the conversation, though? To be more specific, what is the standard used to
determine whether a player is overpaid, underpaid, or fairly paid? If the
standard is subjective, then offseason “grades” merely reflect the degree of
correlation between a team’s offseason moves and what I happen to think each player is worth. That
correlation is not valuable to anyone aside from me. Nobody else can use grades
like that, because the grades only reflect a subjective opinion.
In Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3 of my review of the “The Process,” I have covered the Philadelphia 76ers’ rebuilding process beginning with their multi-season tank job and leading up to their return to the playoffs in the 2017-18 season. Last season brought the culmination of the Process, as the Sixers went all-in with two major trades that cashed in most of their draft assets acquired during the Process. In this final part of my analysis, then, I will review the Sixers’ moves in the 2018 offseason and during the 2018-19 season, followed by a brief overview of the Process on the whole.
Last time, we reviewed the beginning stages of the Process. The dominant factor in that time frame was the Jrue Holiday trade, which led to the Sixers acquiring Nerlens Noel and Elfrid Payton (who was traded for Dario Saric, who was part of the trade for Jimmy Butler). We left off after the 2014 draft, so Part 2 of our analysis begins in 2014.
The 2014-15 season was another tank job by the Sixers. Shortly before the season began, they traded Thaddeus Young for a first round pick, Luc Mbah a Moute, and Alexey Shved in the four-team Kevin Love trade. Though the motive was clearly to make cap space, the Sixers ultimately did not attempt to sign premiere free agents in the time frame of Young’s next contract. As such, it is not completely certain that they needed to get rid of Young. He was responsible for 22.8 wins in the four seasons stretching from 2015-16 through last year, at about league average efficiency each year. Thus, it seems clear that the Sixers left about 5-6 wins per year on the table by getting rid of Thad Young.
the definite turn from building to contending marked by this season’s
blockbuster trades for Jimmy Butler and Tobias Harris, the Sixers have reached
the point at which we can profitably and fairly evaluate “The Process,” which
began with the hiring of Sam Hinkie in 2013. With Philly having now spent most
the draft capital acquired during the Process, it is legitimate to ask how well
the tank job worked.