Transactions 7/10-9/22 Part I

Atlanta Hawks

7/13    Re-signed Mike Bibby and Zaza Pachulia

7/14    Traded rights to David Andersen to Houston for a second-round draft pick, cash, and future considerations

8/7      Re-signed Marvin Williams

8/25    Signed Joe Smith

9/2      Signed Jason Collins

That was somewhat unexpected.  Not only did the Hawks bring back most of their role players but they did it at a pretty cheap price.  Of course, the Hawks had already made the decision not to overpay for their non-stars.  Nabbing Bibby ($18 million for three years) and Pachulia ($16 million for four years) are both nice deals for useful players.  Bibby will decline over the course of this deal but as a spot up shooter point guard, he will help and is tradable if Atlanta wants to go in that direction.  Pachulia is a nice body off the bench and is likely to be an asset for the life of his deal (he’s still only 25 now). 

The real big ticket item is Williams.  The Hawks have invested about $38 million over five years to see what they have in Williams.  We all remember that Williams was a really young and a really high draft pick in 2005 (and drafted over Chris Paul and Deron Williams).  Since then, he’s improved a little across the board, most notably in three-point shooting.  Williams will be 23 this year and, at worst, he’ll be a nice scorer off the bench for the life of this deal.  I don’t think that Williams will ever develop into a star but Williams could certainly be an Al Harrington-type scoring forward.  Is this worth $38 million or so?  Probably not but Williams has value and we can understand why the Hawks want to take a chance to see what they have here.

Boston Celtics 

8/7    Signed Shelden Williams

8/10  Re-signed Glen Davis

9/1    Signed Marquis Daniels 

Some cheap bench trinkets for Boston.  Williams has limitations but on a cheap one-year deal can only help.  As for Big Baby, we all remember Davis’ big moments in the playoffs (15.8 ppg, 5.6 rpg) in but his regular season was really not good (7.0 ppg, 4.0 rpg, .442 FG%), which was enough of a factor in a tight economy to keep his price down.  Daniels also is in on a cheap contract.  It’s pretty safe to say now that Daniels’ big rookie season was a fluke, and he’s established himself as a solid guard and is an improvement over Stephon Marbury.  In all, no huge wins but Boston isn’t wasting any roster spots here. 

Charlotte Bobcats 

7/28    Traded Emeka Okafor for Tyson Chandler 

For the Bobcats, this trade has been almost universally panned.  Most note that Okafor is the better offensive player (true), a pretty good defender (true), and even cheaper than Chandler (true in the long term), and the healthier player (true in the recent past).  The Bobcats’ problem last years was not defense but offense (7th in defensive efficiency but 27th in offensive efficiency), so even if Chandler is healthy, he doesn’t seem to help as much.  Of course, a key issue is that while Chandler makes a few million more over the next two years, Okafor is tied up for an extra three years and an extra $41 million.  For the Bobcats, clearing future salary obligations is important in the attempt of Bob Johnson to sell the cash strapped team. 

The question is whether this quasi-salary dump should make Bobcats fans glum.  If Chandler really is healthy (and this is not information that we are privy to), the deal isn’t too bad.  Chandler was injured and his stats were down a lot in 2008-09 (13.4 PER) but the prior two years in New Orleans he was able to log PERs in the 17 range while being a strong defensive player and rebounder, and really on par with Okafor (despite reputations, neither Okafor or Chandler is a superb shot blocker but Okafor is slightly better).  So, while I wouldn’t have made this trade, Chandler and Okafor aren’t that far apart in skill sets.  

Chicago Bulls 

7/13    Signed Jannero Pargo

7/14    Waived Tim Thomas

7/20    Waived Anthony Roberson

7/30    Waived Linton Johnson and DeMarcus Nelson

9/22    Re-signed Aaron Gray 

An question to study in a few years is how players who make European excursions are affected by being out of the NBA for a year or two.  Does the lighter schedule help or hurt?  We may not get a definitive answer but Pargo will be an interesting test case.  Meanwhile, Pargo will function as the cheap replacement for Ben Gordon as designated scorer at the guard slot.  Pargo is a long way from Gordon.  In fact, Pargo’s career year in 2006-07 was pretty average (9.2 ppg, .409 FG%, 13.4 PER in 20 mpg).  Pargo isn’t useless but he cannot be used for extended periods because he is a streak shooter, doesn’t really get to the line, and is too small to guard shooting guards.  It didn’t make sense to overpay Gordon but Pargo is only a partial solution.  The team will need more scoring from Derrick Rose, Kirk Hinrich, and John Salmons to offset the loss of Gordon.  The best hope is that Rose takes another big step forward this season. 

Cleveland Cavaliers 

7/13    Signed Anthony Parker

7/19    Signed Jamario Moon

7/29    Waived Tarence Kinsey

8/12    Signed Leon Powe 

An interesting mixture of bench players for Cleveland, all of whom could be useful.  Moon has shown himself to be a pretty solid overall player and nice cheap bench guy (2 years and just under $6 million) on a good team like the Cavs.  Parker also has his uses as designated shooter.  I see Parker as much more of a question mark, given that he declined across the board in 2008-09 and is already 34.  Again, as a bench player, Parker could help (at 2 years and $5.4 million).  Powe is a complete question mark coming off another ACL tear of his knee.  If healthy, Powe can score off the bench but it’s not clear when he’ll play in 2009-10 and how effective he’ll be if he does play.  

Dallas Mavericks 

7/1    Re-signed Jason Kidd

7/30  Signed Drew Gooden

9/14  Re-signed James Singleton; waived Greg Buckner 

After trading Devin Harris for Kidd, The Mavs were pretty much obligated to try to keep Kidd around long term.  Fortunately for the Mavs, the contract extension ended up being much more reasonable than it could’ve been.  In 2007, the whispers were that Kidd could get three years and $36 million (or at least $30 million).  Instead, Kidd has settled for $25 million over three years for his age-36 through 38 seasons.  What can we expect from Kidd from here?  We know that big points tend to age a little better and that most points who are effective at 35 might be able to make it to 38.  But Kidd is so unique that it’s hard to really know where he goes from here.  We do know that Kidd’s shot creation has really dipped (a career low 7.6 shots per 36 minutes and a really low 1.3 free throws per 36-minutes, nearly half the number he had in 2007-08).  

Let’s take a sampling of the other points of the last few years who were still starting at age-35 and how they ended up the next three seasons: 

John Stockton

1997-98 35 64 29.0 12.0 0.528 2.6 8.5 2.5 21.8
1998-99 36 50 28.2 11.1 0.488 2.9 7.5 2.2 21.9
1999-00 37 82 29.7 12.1 0.501 2.6 8.6 2.2 22.4
2000-01 38 82 29.2 11.5 0.504 2.8 8.7 2.5 22.3

Mark Jackson

2000-01 35 83 31.2 7.6 0.419 3.7 8.0 2.1 14.9
2001-02 36 82 28.9 8.4 0.439 3.8 7.4 1.8 16.3
2002-03 37 82 17.9 4.7 0.398 2.1 4.6 1.9 12.2
2003-04 38 42 13.7 2.5 0.34 1.7 2.8 1.3 8.9

Gary Payton

2003-04 35 82 34.5 14.6 0.471 4.2 5.5 1.8 17.3
2004-05 36 77 33.0 11.3 0.468 3.1 6.1 1.9 15.1
2005-06 37 81 28.5 7.7 0.420 2.9 3.2 1.3 10.7
2006-07 38 68 22.1 5.3 0.393 1.9 3.0 1.0 9.0

Rod Strickland

2001-02 35 76 30.2 10.4 0.443 3.1 6.1 2.1 15.6
2002-03 36 47 20.3 6.8 0.432 2.0 4.6 1.6 15.4
2003-04 37 61 19.6 6.3 0.425 2.5 4.0 1.5 14.9
2004-05 38 16 12.3 1.8 0.209 1.7 2.4 1.0 4.6

Lenny Wilkens

1972-73 35 75 39.6 20.5 0.449 4.6 8.4 N/A 15.6
1973-74 36 74 33.6 16.4 0.465 3.7 7.1 N/A 15.4
1974-75 37 65 17.9 6.5 0.439 1.8 3.6 N/A 14.9
1975-76 38 0 N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A

Sam Cassell

2004-05 35 59 25.8 13.5 0.464 2.7 5.1 1.8 18.6
2005-06 36 78 34.0 17.2 0.443 3.7 6.3 2.2 18.5
2006-07 37 58 24.3 12.3 0.418 2.9 4.7 1.7 17.1
2007-08 38 55 23.2 11.2 0.438 2.5 3.9 1.8 15.4

Dennis Johnson

1989-90 35 75 27.1 7.1 0.434 2.7 6.5 1.6 12.4
1990-91 36 0   N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
1991-92 37 0   N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
1992-93 38 0   N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A

David Wesley

2005-06 35 71 33.4 9.9 0.403 2.5 2.9 1.7 9.6
2006-07 36 35 10.1 2.1 0.293 1.0 1.1 0.5 6.6
2007-08 37 0   N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
2008-09 38 0   N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A

There are also a few points who played a lot off the bench afer age-35 who we omitted (Terry Porter, Avery Johnson, Derek Harper, Muggsy Bogues) because they didn’t quite start.  As for the rest of these guys, we see that it is not impossible to retain your value from age 35 to 38 but not particularly likely.  Throwing out Wesley and DJ who were clearly on their last legs at age-35, most of these points were good for another two years, with Stockton being an absolute freak (he’s the only one on this list to make it past age-38 in his NBA career and went strong to age-40).  What this all portends for Kidd is a slow respectable decline that allows at least two more pretty good seasons, and about a 50% chance that his age-38 season will be around league average. 

As a final side note, it’s amazing how much durability has improved for NBA players in recent years.  For whatever reason, points just did not start in the NBA when they hit their mid-30s until the 2000s (in fact, Steve Nash and Derek Fisher should join the list this year).  The notable pre-2000 exception is Wilkens, who was quite good until he decided to back off and go into coaching and deserves to be remembered for his unique playing career.

Denver Nuggets 

7/13    Traded a future second-round pick to Detroit for Arron Afflalo and Walter Sharpe

8/7      Traded Steven Hunter, a 2010 first-round pick, and cash to Memphis for a future second-round pick

8/14    Re-signed Anthony Carter

8/27    Re-signed Johan Petro

9/22    Traded James White to Houston for the draft rights to Axel Hervelle 

Another nice little haul in Denver.  Athletic all-purpose players off the bench like Afflalo always helps.  Moreover, he was acquired for nothing and that his salary is really cheap is preferable to paying Linas Kleiza big bucks.  Now, the bench isn’t exactly stacked but Anthony Carter, Ty Lawson, Chris Andersen, Balkman, Afflalo, and Petro is pretty respectable. 

Detroit Pistons 

7/13    Traded Arron Afflalo and Walter Sharpe to Denver for a future second-round pick

7/22    Signed Chris Wilcox

8/12     Signed Ben Wallace 

The bloom is long off Wilcox’s rose as a prospect.  He’s another backup forward now on a reasonable contract (two years and $6 million).  He’s good for some points but Detroit will have to pick their spots with him because a Wilcox/Charlie Villanueva front court would not be a defensive powerhouse.  Presumably, they will pair their offensive forwards with Wallace to make sure both sides of the court are covered.

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