Hollinger seems to have a good handle on this one, and backing him up is Hornets247 who seems happy, blogger and commenters both. Bobcats blogs seem less thrilled. Ordinarily this would be where I go look up each man’s stats and try to give some insight into how I think this deal works, but let’s be honest now: the Bobcats suck. They’ve sucked for most if not all of their existence because the people in charge either don’t know how or don’t care to put together a decent team, and this is part and parcel of that tradition. I like Tyson Chandler but he won’t change this, and Larry Brown will be trying to trade him by Christmas anyway. There’s such a thing as having so little credibility as an organization that it’s reasonable to assume all your moves are either ridiculous or taken for ulterior motives, and when I saw a BOBCATS BLOG suggest that this trade was good because it might help get the team sold, I knew we’d entered that territory.
My sympathies, Bobcats fans.
One of the most active NBA trade seasons I can recall rolls on with a three-team guard swap. Let’s quickly break this one down:
– Mike James ($6 million, player option for $6.5 in 09/10)
-Javaris Crittenton ($1.4 million rookie contract guaranteed through 09/10, team option, qualifying offer thereafter)
New Orleans gets:
– Antonio Daniels ($6.6 million, through 09/10)
– A conditional second round pick from Memphis
– Their own first round pick back from Washington, which they originally sent out in the Juan Carlos Navarro deal.
The simplest move here is Memphis’, as they send out a guard they weren’t really going to use at all and get back what’s very likely to be a high lottery selection. Crittenton has talent but he’s played fewer than 7 minutes a game in only 7 games this year as Kyle Lowry, Mike Conley and OJ Mayo have all moved past him in the depth chart. If you can move a player who’s not in your plans and get back a lottery pick, you’ve done good business. Good deal for the Grizzlies.
For the other two teams, a lot of this comes down to Daniels and James and what to think of each of them, since their contract figures are essentially the same. Let’s run some numbers:
PER: James 6.14, third year of decline from a peak of 19.88 in 05/06; Daniels 11.22, second year of decline from 15.02 in 06/07, career peak of 19.72 in 03/04.
WP48 (last year): Daniels 0.159, James -0.110
Adj. +/- (last year): James -6.73, Daniels -7.41
Age: both are 33
Other numbers: James has had a major cratering of his shooting abilities in line with the PER drop, and has slipped to an unforgivable 38.6 TS% this year which is an awesomely bad figure for someone whose bread and butter is scoring ability. Given his age, the scale of the drop, and the fact that it’s continued for three seasons, I’m inclined to say he’s probably just got a large fork in his back. Daniels by contrast doesn’t seem to have any major statistical drop in one category, just a normal decline phase.
For New Orleans, this trade makes sense- they send out a totally done guard and get back a still-useful backcourt reserve for a team which they feel, probably rightly, can be a contender. There’s no difference in long term obligation, so the money’s a wash; a mild positive overall, then. For Washington, well…they get a warm(ish) body for now in James and a good young prospect in Crittenton, but they give up a still-useful player in Daniels and, worse, a lottery pick for Crittenton. I don’t really get it- if they wanted Crittenton, why not deal directly with Memphis? Was the slight contract difference between James and Daniels necessary to make this work? If they just wanted rid of Daniels, was James the best they could do? In theory this was made to address the guard position now and in the future, but I think they got worse now with James and I’m not sure Crittenton, drafted 19th overall, is going to be better than a guard you could get with Memphis’ lottery selection. If Stephen Curry is available at that slot they may end up kicking themselves for this one. Mild thumbs down for them.
EDIT: on further inspection, yep, the other chunk of this deal was necessary to clear space to get Crittenton to Washington, and there were some lottery protections on the first when the Wiz had it. Source here. I’m still not thrilled with the deal for them, but it makes more sense with those aspects taken into consideration. Mike James though…good luck, Washington.
Back later tonight with a Knicks/Nets report.