October 3, 2010

Atlanta Trades

While the off-season has proved fruitful for some teams (see Chicago, Miami, and Los Angeles), far fewer organizations proved adequate in their ventures to upgrade their rosters. 

One such team is Atlanta. 

While 2009-2010 saw the Hawks manage 53-and-29 (and the eastern conference's third overall seed), the balance in the southeast division has considerably shifted in favor of Orlando's in-state rival, Miami. Factor in the Magic's domination over the Hawks the last two seasons, Chicago's free-agent acquisitions, and Andrew Bogut returning from injury in Milwaukee, and Atlanta certainly looks to struggle mightily to clinch home-court for the opening round of the play-offs.

When you consider the $123.7  million dollars a declining Joe Johnson will make over the next six-years (the contract is guaranteed through 2015-2016),  the signings of Jason Collins, Josh Powell, and Etan Thomas (three unproductive frontcourt players), and the drafting of Jordan Crawford (whose collegiate career was merely average), the Hawks don't stand to capitalize much on the improvement they've made the last few seasons. 

Here are a few suggestions for Hawks' management to mull over:

Trade with Philadelphia 76ers 

Atlanta sends guard Jamal Crawford to Philadelphia for swingman Andre Iguodala.

Why Atlanta does this? 

1. Although Crawford is a potent scorer, his career adjusted field goal mark is only .475 (the equivalent of scoring .91 points per basket attempt), not very efficient, when you realize this means he's taken nearly 1.5 more shots per game (than Iguodala) for his career, only to average .4 fewer points. 

2. His career average of 2.7 rebs in 32.4 minutes (or 4.0 rebs per 48 minutes) is beyond putrid, and if that weren't enough to depict how poor of a defender Crawford is, his lapse on the defensive end can be further illustrated by his gross inability to force turnovers (e.g., steals, offensive fouls drawn, etc). Let's not forget this nugget: Atlanta conceded 5.3 more points (per 100 possessions) with Crawford on the floor. In case you were wondering? This was the team's worst differential.

In short, outside of being able to score well, Crawford is not a very productive player. So, while Iguodala's contract puts Atlanta a little further over the luxury tax. They acquire a player capable of facilitating on offense, of forcing more turnovers, and of rebounding the basketball better, all the while getting conceivably stronger at both the shooting guard and small forward positions.

Why Philadelphia does this? 

1. The 76ers know they're not contending for a title, and aren't even entirely sure they'll make the playoffs. They're a team attempting to rebuild.

2. If management were ever completely sold on Evan Turner, they could certainly look to ship Iguodala's max contract (four years left) for one expiring.  

3. Crawford's contract is expiring. 

4. Iguodala stands to make approximately 2.4 million dollars more than Crawford.

5. This deal serves to help put the 76ers under the luxury tax.  


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