October 5, 2010

Atlanta Trades: A Review

Are the Hawks, as currently constructed, contenders?

My first post, Atlanta Trades, and second post, Atlanta Trades Continued, suspect the answer to be no. 

Both go on to offer some pretty helpful moves Hawks' management could make, in order to improve their chances of securing a top-seed in the eastern conference. 

Using a wonderful metric (wins produced per 48 minutes to calculate wins produced), devised by Prof. David Berri of the Wages of Wins Journal, one can roughly project how a team will fare throughout the course of 82 games.

Analyzing the Trades Proposed Using the WP Metric

First trade: Jamal Crawford for Andre Iguodala 

Crawford's career WP48 (or wins produced per 48 minutes) mark is .052 (keep in mind that an average player posts a WP48 of .100, according to Berri). In contrast, Andre Iguodala's career mark is currently at .206 (well above-average). 

Now, when we calculate for wins produced, this means that Crawford, across his entire eleven year career (for the position that he plays) helped produce roughly 24 wins (23.7). Iguodala on the other hand, despite having been in the league five fewer years, has produced roughly 80 wins (79.6) for his career, more than triple the contribution of Crawford. With the latter aging, this would certainly appear to be a winning move on Atlanta's part.

Second Trade: Joe Johnson for Tyson Chandler 

Johnson entered the league in 2001, the same year Chandler did. Both ended up being selected in the first round of the draft, both ended up playing for a team that had been sub-par the season prior, and both saw limited minutes throughout their rookie campaigns. Since then, the two have played a combined 42,015 minutes, Johnson accounting for slightly more than 61% of those minutes. Yet, it's Chandler that has produced more wins, roughly 69 (68.6) to Johnson's 55 (55.4). 

So, why is that? 

Well, when we examine per-minute productivity, Johnson's career WP48 mark stands at .103. In other words, Johnson has been an average player across his nine years in the league. On the other hand, Chandler's career WP48 is at .203 (nearly double Johnson's). If we ignore the two injury plagued seasons, Chandler's WP48 jumps to .237 (more than double Johnson's), and if we look strictly at Chandler's peak production years (from fall 2003 to spring 2008) his WP48 shoots up to .273. In short, to sum all these points, Johnson has seen far more playing time (than Chandler), but because he's no where near as productive (on a per-minute basis), he's contributed fewer wins overall. 

Couple this with the fact that the Hawks would be ridding themselves of a monstrous contract, and it's certainly easy to see why Atlanta would be winners in this scenario as well.

The Wages of Wins

For more in-depth detail on the wins produced formula: 

Buy the Wages of Wins book, available at Amazon.com


Anonymous said...

Another Dre, who uses Wins Produced and likes Iguodala? Welcome to the club. I really dig your work so I guess I'll overlook the fact that the Hawks stole Mutombo.

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