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Posts Tagged ‘Carmelo Anthony

How the Lakers can have a smart offseason

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Since Dr. Jerry Buss died, the Lakers have embodied the worst traits of the James Dolan era Knicks. They’ve gone after big names and big contracts and have dealt away picks instead of keeping them. They spend assets instead of collecting them.

If they continued down this route, their offseason will involve major spending or big name trading. Think signing Carmelo Anthony to a maximum contract when they don’t have the roster to win before he declines, or trading their draft pick for Rajon Rondo in hopes that’ll be enough to sign Kevin Love next summer. Dealing for aging stars or ones on short contracts, is a dangerous game that could set them back years.

Here’s the type of summer I’d recommend for the Lakers. It’s not as sexy, but it’s a smart move that fits the modern NBA landscape.

Say the Houston Rockets get their mitts on a major free agent like Carmelo Anthony or Chris Bosh. But to do it they need to clear capspace, by moving Jeremy Lin and Omer Asik’s contracts.

The Lakers are far under the cap and in a great position to take advantage of this. They also have the deepest pockets in the league, allowing them to barely blink at paying 30 million in real money for 16.8 million cap hit between Asik and Lin. The Rockets trade the Lakers Jeremy Lin, Omer Asik, Terrence Jones, Donatas Motiejunas and their 1st round pick next year, for a Lakers conditional 2nd round pick. This clears the Rockets enough capspace to sign Carmelo while keeping the rest of their starting lineup in Patrick Beverly, James Harden, Chandler Parsons and Dwight Howard. Carmelo presumably have to take a discount on his first year salary compared to what the Knicks could offer, but would still be inked to a huge salary.

This puts the Lakers in a very nice position. Not only do they get talented young bigs in Terrence Jones who could break out on a new team, Donatas Motiejunas and a pick, but Lin and Asik are even good for their roster, filling a need at PG and C. If not extended, both Lin and Asik expire next summer, allowing the salary obligation to be as short lived as Utah taking Andris Biedrins and Richard Jefferson’s deals for a year.

Using their capspace to build their asset base like this, is the type of move the Lakers need to look at in the modern CBA model. The days of outspending everyone are gone and the other 29 teams are getting too smart. The Lakers can’t run from how small market teams succeed, they need to embrace it, then add their money advantages on top of this. They need to become basketball’s Boston Red Sox, who realized if they invested in prospects and analytics like small markets have no choice but to do, but then have more money and free agent allure than the rest of the league at the same time, they could be unstoppable. Likewise if the Lakers started hording young players and draft picks like the Thunder, when added to their historically massive star and free agent appeal, they combination could cream the league for decades to come again.

Written by jr.

May 28, 2014 at 11:07 pm

On why the Knicks should trade Carmelo Anthony & the Derrick Williams pick

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On http://www.morningpickup.com I wrote a few articles

The case for trading Carmelo Anthony

http://www.morningpickup.com/case-new-york-trading-carmelo-anthony/

Can Derrick Williams find his niche in Sacramento?

http://www.morningpickup.com/can-derrick-williams-find-niche/

Stats Tuesday: Should “replacement efficiency” be used instead of league average efficiency, in NBA comparisons?

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Derrick Rose at a promotional appearance.

The value of Derrick Rose’s efficiency in his MVP season is questioned by the advanced stats community (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A hot topic among basketball nerds is what to do with players who shoot either a league average efficiency or a below average one. Our instincts tell us a player who shoots an average shooting efficiency when he has teammates who’s efficiency is well above average, is a problem. Because it indicates the player could be passing the ball more to these more efficient players, thus raising his team’s efficiency. It indicates that if the team’s efficiency is above league average, that the credit for this should be relegated to the players taking above average shots in efficiency, not the one taking a ton of possession at an average efficiency that doesn’t move the meter.

To use an example, in the last non-lockout year (2010-2011) league average True Shooting Percentage/TS% (incorporating 3s and FTs, essentially creating a points per shot metric) was .542. The MVP, Derrick Rose, had a TS% of .550. Kobe Bryant’s score was .548, Carmelo Anthony’s .557. They are considered superstar scorers in this season because of their volume points per game. But using a strict model of comparing volume and efficiency can create some shocking results. Take the two examples of Tyson Chandler and Nene, both not known for scoring talent, but among the league leaders in efficiency in 2010-2011. Chandler takes 7.26 shots a game in the regular season on the Mavericks (using the calculation FGA + 0.44*FTA) at .697 TS%. Multiplying Chandler’s volume of shots (7.26) times league average efficiency for points per shot (.542 TS%) adds up to 3.94 points. At Chandler’s real efficiency (.697) he scores 5.06 points, for a margin of approximately +1.12 points from average. Nene likewise has 11.1 shots at .657 TS%, using the same calculation as with Chandler he ends up adding +1.27 points compared to what his shots taken at average efficiency would create. However look at what happens when the same calculation is done with Rose, Melo and Bryant. Rose, taking 22.74 shots would create 12.3 points if had shot at league average efficiency, while at his real efficiency of .55, creates 12.5 points, a whopping difference of +0.2 in the points column. Carmelo, using 22.98 shots a game at .557 TS%, using the same calculation ends up adding about +0.35 pts compared to if those shots had been taken at an league average level, while Bryant at 23.1 shots converted at .548 TS%, ends up adding a measly +.14 points compared to the average conversion of those shots. All 3 of Rose, Melo and Bryant’s scores not only trail Chandler and Nene’s numbers, but they’re not even in the same ballpark.

This is why statistical attempts to quantify scoring have met such difficulty. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by jr.

October 9, 2012 at 10:32 am

The Denver Nuggets: An impressive team, but one not made for the playoffs

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Nenê of the Denver Nuggets

Image via Wikipedia

One of the most impressive teams of the young 2011-2012 NBA season is the Denver Nuggets. They’re the ultimate team over star story, playing as well without Carmelo Anthony as they ever did with him. They presently have a 12-5 record after 4 straight impressive road wins, and have the 4th highest the adjusted point differential (SRS) in the league. Their secret? A combination of phenomenal ball movement between highly efficient outside shooters and inside finishers, always finding the best shot on the floor – to go along with the highest defensive turnover % in the league and the league’s fastest pace, a devastating combination. It’s the ultimate George Karl team, a coach who’s always favored teams with a high amount of turnovers defensively and fastbreak counter-punch points, forced due to an ultra aggresive help defense scheme on the perimeter.

But there’s a difference between the Nuggets proving an Anthony type centerpiece is unneeded for success in the regular season and doing so in the playoffs. The first is a nice story, but if you don’t have the second, it means nothing at the end of the day. And I don’t believe the Nuggets are built to carry this success to the postseason, a place where many of Karl’s fastest and most aggressive teams have played below their regular season results.

The main problem is an overwhelmingly perimeter based offense. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by jr.

January 25, 2012 at 6:28 pm

Predictions, Predictions, Predictions everywhere: 2011-2012 NBA Awards Picks

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Derrick Rose

Derrick Rose's position as the lone superstar on a league best team gives him an MVP race advantage (Image via Wikipedia)

Who’s winning the major awards in this shortened NBA season?

Here’s my picks:

Sixth Man of the Year: James Harden. Not an original pick at all but it’s the obvious choice. The Thunder will likely have one of the best records which together with making a jump as a player, will give Harden the profile and narrative to win the awards. Harden could even make the all-star team this year. When a team jumps out to the best record in their conference, Harden getting in like Jameer Nelson did the year the Magic were the league’s best story is reasonable.

Coach of the Year: George Karl. The Coach of the Year award has morphed into the “Coach of the most surprising team” award lately, so if the Nuggets jump out to a top 4 record in the Western Conference Karl will fit that metric. He’s also a true veteran coach and has coached succesful teams for quite some time – but has never won coach of the year. This is another reason for them to finally give him one.

Rookie of the Year: Kyrie Irving. I could see Irving, Jimmer Fredette, Kemba Walker, Brandon Knight and Ricky Rubio all have similarly impressive rookie seasons statistically. The difference in Irving’s case is I expect the Cavaliers to be a better than than all of those other players’. Which may be a result of having a good frontcourt and good 3pt shooting, but Irving’s presence will get a lot of credit for it if they surprise. Read the rest of this entry »

Why the Knicks should consider the WTF move: Dumping the Amare Stoudemire era now

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Amare Stoudemire

(Image by Keith Allison via Flickr)

One of my biggest pet peeves recently is the assumption by Knick fans and others that it’s possible for the team to acquire Chris Paul or Dwight Howard next summer as is. It isn’t. For one, the team doesn’t have the capspace next summer with Amare Stoudemire and Carmelo Anthony combining for 40 million in salary alone. When this is pointed out, the answer is that the Knicks will force the team to trade for them. With what? The trade assets they don’t have? It’s not like they’re sitting on James Harden and Serge Ibaka to throw at the Hornets for Chris Paul. Their most valuable young player is Landry Fields. That won’t cut it. There’s almost no way for the Knicks to be in the position to get Chris Paul or Dwight Howard without either the capspace or trade assets that other teams have.

Thus what is more likely is this. The Knicks two best players a year from now are still Carmelo Anthony and Amare Stoudemire. The team is a decent playoff knockout and has little way to improve from that point on without any extra assets or capspace, until Amare’s health inevitably betrays him. Is this something the Knicks fans want? After the “Isiah and Eddy Curry decade” as it will forever be remembered, it’s a slight improvement in entertainment, but the goal should be to win the title eventually. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by jr.

November 11, 2011 at 1:00 pm

Fixing the Knicks and the 2012 myth

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Image via GearLive

A month after the Carmelo Anthony trade,  the Knicks are crumbling and have lost 8 of their last 10 – with 6 to under .500 teams (2 to Indiana, 2 to Milwaukee, 1 to Detroit, 1 to Charlotte). With the success of the post Carmelo Nuggets, the vultures are swirling and declaring the Knicks trade a failure. Advanced staticians are picking Anthony’s game apart.

What’s going wrong? Ball movement on the offensive end. D’Antoni teams rely on spacing and finding the open man and Carmelo’s ball reliant, isolation game is an awful fit for this. Billups and Amare have yet to find their efficiency legs in the new get it to the stars offense. The Knicks also have among the worst offensive depth I’ve ever seen. In their last loss to Charlotte they started Shawne Williams and Toney Douglas beside Melo, Amare and Billups and their bench was Anthony Carter, Roger Mason, Jared Jeffries, Shelden Williams, Landry Fields and Bill Walker. That’s not going to cut it.

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Everyone needs to pay attention to the Nuggets right now

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Nene Hilario

Image by Keith Allison via Flickr

As an analyst, I love it when players change teams. I know, it goes against the very core of what fans do, and I feel that typical pull as well, but when a player changes teams we get to see what he really meant to his old team, as well as what he can do in a new situation. This is why I’ve been looking forward to Carmelo Anthony being traded ever since the rumors of his discontent surface. He in particular has always had a reputation among the general populace as a superstar that there was never any statistical basis for.

He is a very skilled scorer, but has never utilized it do produce great efficiency. The rest of his game has never had the breadth of impact the top tier of stars have. And then this season, a weird conversation began happening based around the idea that he makes his teammates shooting skyrocket. I commented on this and on him generally in my Carmelo Conundrum piece. The most amazing fact was that if you actually looked at his effect on teammates shooting efficiency, it was negative. While true superstars tend to indeed help their teammates get easier looks, Melo didn’t.

So now, Anthony is traded to New York, and we’ve seen the new look Denver Nuggets for 10 games. You probably already know that the Nuggets are doing well and find it interesting even before you get to the entertainment aspect of things (Denver just plays some pretty, pretty ball now), but I don’t think it’s obvious to people how glaring the success has been.

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Jazz Improvisation and the Association in Chaos

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Image by StuSeeger via Flickr

10 thoughts after a whirlwind of a trade deadline:

1. I really wish I had more to say on the Deron Williams trade. I had a whole slew of points immediately on the tips of my fingers when Carmelo Anthony was traded barely more than a day before, and I consider Williams the superior players. Ideally I’d have more to say about it – heck, ideally *everyone* would have more to say about, but they may be suffering from a bit of the same thing I am. It’s just clear that we’ve only seen the tip of the iceberg of the decision making in Salt Lake City. I’m generally one not to bothered by the prospect of venturing forth with theories in the wake of incomplete knowledge because complete knowledge is never assured, but here there’s just too much uncertainty.

2. That said, odds still seem pretty dang good that the Jazz don’t trade Williams unless they think he’s not going to be happy there in the long term. So yes, anyone not willing to include this happening amongst the trend of stars leaving well run small market teams, is being unreasonably cautious.

3. Good trade for the Jazz? They lost Deron Freaking Williams, and traded him for players you certainly can’t expect to be his equal. The most you can say is that given the macro trends of stars in the NBA right now, it’s hasty to call Jazz management incompetent for what when down.

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Grading the Carmelo Anthony trade: Missed opportunity and opportunity cost

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The day we waded through months of painstaking trade rumors for finaly came. Carmelo Anthony is a Knick and will get his 65 million extension. For Carmelo and Chauncey Billups, the Knicks traded Raymond Felton, Wilson Chandler, Danillo Gallinari, Timofey Mozgov, a 2014 1st and two Golden State 2nds to Denver as well as Eddy Curry, Anthony Randolph to Minnesota for cap reasons. With the history of stars who want out getting traded for pennies, the Nuggets have to happy with their return. Not only due to the valuable talent coming back, but they also saved about 23 million by cutting enough salary to get under the luxury tax.

What about the Knicks? Despite the apparant leverage of Carmelo wanting to play there, they ended up mortgaging the entire farm. The threat of Carmelo going to the Nets apparantley pushed them towards it. Rumors of James Dolan and Isiah Thomas taking the negotiations from Donnie Walsh are in the air.

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