Thursday, February 18, 2016

2016 NBA Trade Deadline Review

The 2016 Trade Deadline has now passed, and I've rounded up almost every detail of all the deals made this week with the exception of the exact cash involved in some trades. I will add my thoughts on each deal over the weekend, but for now, here's the list of teams with action along with my updated team assets spreadsheets.


Pistons get:
Tobias Harris$16,000,000$17,200,000$16,000,000$14,800,000

Magic get:
Brandon Jennings$8,344,497
Ersan Ilyasova$7,900,000$8,400,000


Hornets get:
Courtney Lee$5,675,000
$542,714 (from Memphis)

Grizzlies get:
Chris Andersen$5,000,000
P.J. Hairston$1,201,440
'17 Miami 2nd (protected 41-60, then unprotected)
'18 Charlotte 2nd
'19 Boston 2nd (protected 31-55)
'19 Brooklyn 2nd

Heat get:
Brian Roberts$2,854,940

Miami-New Orleans

Pelicans get:
Jarnell Stokes$845,059$980,431$1,251,245

Heat get:
'18 New Orleans 2nd (protected 31-55)


Pistons get:
Donatas Motiejunas$2,288,205$6,223,825
Marcus Thornton$947,276

Rockets get:
Joel Anthony$2,500,000$2,500,000
'16 Detroit 1st (top 8 protected, top 10 protected through '21, then unprotected)


Cavaliers get:
Channing Frye$8,193,029$7,806,971$7,420,912

Magic get:
Jared Cunningham$947,276
'20 Cleveland 2nd (via Portland)

Blazers get:
Anderson Varejao$9,638,554$10,361,446$10,000,000
'18 Cleveland 1st (top 10 protected through '19, then becomes a '21 2nd and the lesser of the Lakers' or Minnesota's '19 2nd)
  • Tim Frazier waived for roster spot and then Varejao waived upon completion.


Hawks get:
Kirk Hinrich$2,854,940

Bulls get:
Justin Holiday$947,276$1,015,696
'18 Denver 2nd

Jazz get:
Shelvin Mack$2,433,333$2,433,334

Denver-Oklahoma City

Thunder get:
Randy Foye$3,135,000

Nuggets get:
Steve Novak$3,750,001
D.J. Augustin$3,000,000
'16 Charlotte 2nd (protected 56-60)
'16 Oklahoma City 2nd
  • Novak waived upon completion.


Heat get:

Blazers gets:
Brian Roberts$2,854,940
'21 Miami 2nd


Phoenix gets:
Kris Humphries$4,440,000$4,630,000
DeJuan Blair$2,000,000$2,000,000
'16 Washington 1st (top 9 protected through '21, then unprotected)

Washington gets:

Markieff Morris$8,000,000$7,400,000$8,000,000$8,600,000
  • Blair waived upon completion.

Los Angeles-Memphis

Clippers get:
Jeff Green$9,450,000

Grizzlies get:
Lance Stephenson$9,000,000$9,405,000
'19 Los Angeles 1st (top 14 protected through '20, then becomes '22 2nd)


Rockets get:
Draft rights to Chukwudiebere Maduabum

76ers get:
Joel Anthony$2,500,000$2,500,000
'17 Denver 2nd
  • JaKarr Sampson waived for roster spot.

Pre-Trade Deadline 2016 NBA Power Rankings, Part 2

Continuing from Part 1, here is an evaluation of the bottom half of the league based what they've done so far along with what's in store for their future.

16. Portland Trail Blazers, 27-27 (27 H/27 A) +0.6. Offense: 7th (104.4)/Defense: 18th (104.3)

The good:
  • They won 12 of their last 15 heading into the break to get their point differential into the green, arguably warranting a higher spot in these rankings.
  • C.J. McCollum has built on his strong finish to last year and provided a lot of value as both the starting shooting guard and backup point guard with Damian Lillard. What that small back court lacks in defense they make up for with dynamic scoring and playmaking, and Allen Crabbe has started to reach his potential as a third guard in a contract year, as well. 
  • The quick rebuild in the front court has gone well around them with their smart, low-risk acquisitions all paying off. Along with his usual activity, Al-Farouq Aminu is hitting 3's at a career high rate in the first year of a solid contract; Mason Plumlee has started every game like Aminu and contributed positively on both ends, including doubling his assist rate; Ed Davis is finally getting some appreciation for his yeoman's work on the boards and interior scoring; and former top 15 picks Noah Vonleh and Maurice Harkless have shown their talents at times in their roles.
The bad:
  • The calculated risk of the Arron Afflalo rental cost them a talented young wing in Will Barton and potentially a mid-first round pick, somewhat hampering potential trades to try and make a playoff push.
  • As fun as the Lillard-McCollum back court is, they'll always be limited defensively, and their young bigs sometimes lack the focus necessary to make up for that.
The interesting:
  • They have the most cap room in the league to help facilitate a deadline deal, either to provide an upgrade for themselves or to accumulate assets from desperate teams, and as ESPN's Kevin Pelton has pointed out in his chats, they could actually save money by only paying the prorated amount left on someone's contract instead of owing the difference between their payroll and the salary floor to their current players.

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Pre-Trade Deadline 2016 NBA Power Rankings, Part 1

The 2015-2016 NBA season is over halfway done, so it's about time I shared some of my thoughts on it. Besides being broken in half due to length, this post has been delayed a couple of times with my research over the past couple of weeks, updating my team assets spreadsheets, and working with the Super Bowl Host Committee last week with the big game in town. Alas, I've included screenshots of each team's page (with some older draft rights being cut off due to irrelevancy) with their records, number of home or away games, point differential, and efficiencies (points per 100 possessions) to assess the current outputs of each team with an eye towards future outlooks.

1. Golden State Warriors, 48-4 (24 H/28 A) +12.5. Offense: 1st (113.1)/Defense: 2nd (99.2)

The good:
  • Despite missing their head coach for most of the year until now, the defending champs came out on fire, starting the season 24-0 to shatter the previous NBA record for the best start of a season that was 15-0, and that first loss was on the back-end of a back to back after a double OT game to cap off a 7 game road trip. The 72 win record is in sight.
  • To go with the top offense (by a solid margin) in the league, they're edging out the Pacers and Celtics for the 2nd best defense in the league, a year after having the top defense and barely finishing behind the Clippers for the #1 offense.
  • Stephen Curry, the reigning MVP, has gotten even better, leading the league in Player Efficiency Rating (32.1, which would be an NBA record), scoring (29.8, despite sitting out the 4th quarter 14 times), and 3's made (245, already the 7th most in a season and on pace for 392 to obliterate his own record of 286). He's also set to become just the 7th player to join the 50/40/90 club.
  • Draymond Green, who should've been starting in the All-Star Game if not for the ridiculousness of fan voting, is having career highs across the board with a lot of the offense running through him, leading to an incredible 7.2 assists per game, the 7th best mark in the league and most of all non-point guards. Those numbers are padded by being able to pass to the best shooting backcourt in the league along with guys having surprising shooting years like Andre Iguodala (38.7 3P%) and Brandon Rush (45.0 3P%), but he is also shooting a career high 42.0 3P% to go along with that playmaking and usual versatile defense. Just an incredibly valuable player.
The bad:
  • Extensions were not reached with fourth year players Harrison Barnes and Festus Ezeli, meaning that the Warriors might have big overpayments to match in restricted free-agency this summer in order to keep their young core together.
  • They are lacking in draft capital, owing their 2017 first rounder to Utah and not having a 2nd round pick until 2019.
The interesting:
  • How high can the return of Steve Kerr raise their ceiling? Luke Walton did an incredible job helping them to a 39-4 record as head coach and is likely to garner offers from other teams like Alvin Gentry did last year as top assistant, but Kerr can better manage the rotations and minutes. Intermixing the starters more with 6th Man of the Year candidate Iguodala, swiss-army knife Shaun Livingston, and the rest of the bench can help prevent any offensive lulls.
  • The NBA debut of first round pick Kevon Looney was a pleasant surprise recently, and he could become a key part of that bench if he puts it all together with his Green-like skill set.

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Super Bowl 50

Broncos +5.5 versus Panthers

The big game is finally here, and it's been an exciting time here in the Bay Area. I was fortunate enough to work with the Super Bowl Host Committee this week, and besides all of the 49ers jerseys, there definitely seems to be more Broncos fans here. Perhaps the Panthers contingent has been sticking in the South Bay closer to the stadium, but it is something to consider.

Carolina are rightful favorites after their continued roll throughout the season, and there aren't any clear reasons to pick them to lose. With arguably the two best defenses in the league, though, I'd expect the game to be within reach for either team at the end, so I'm taking the points. The broken forearm that Thomas Davis suffered 2 weeks ago, which was apparent right when it happened, is cause for concern even though he's going to try and play through it, and Denver's ferocious defense proved in their last game that they can basically win a game by themselves. Michael Oher has played surprisingly well at left tackle for this offensive line that far exceeded expectations, but Von Miller and DeMarcus Ware provide as tough a test on the outside as their is in the league. 

The real question will be whether Peyton Manning can lead the Broncos on enough scoring drives to pull the game out. Luke Kuechley takes away so much in coverage over the middle in addition to stuffing the run behind Star Lotuleilei and Kawann Short, so big plays from the dynamic receiver duo of Demaryious Thomas and Emanuel Sanders will be required on the outside. Cam Newton and Greg Olsen are likely to make more plays through the air overall, and Newton puts so much pressure on defenses on the ground with Jonathan Stewart, as well. Thus, C.J. Anderson and Ronnie Hillman will have to generate consistent rushing yards to keep this from getting away from them. I think that they can do it and Manning will make the right reads enough to make this pick. Should be a good one.
Chris Harris Jr., Von Miller, and Malik Jackson are examples of Denver's playmakers at each level.
Last week: 1-1
2015 Season Total: 135-118-13