Posted by: Andy Larsen on September 24th, 2010The author's views are entirely his or her own and may not reflect the views of the Utah Jazz.
The proposed 4 way trade involving Carmelo Anthony includes the Utah Jazz sending out Andrei Kirilenko to the Denver Nuggets, while receiving Boris Diaw from the Charlotte Bobcats. If the trade goes through, how would the Jazz be impacted? If you’re a follower of mine on Twitter @andyblarsen, you have some idea of what I think on this issue, but let’s do a more detailed investigation:
At first glance, AK and Boris Diaw have very similar box score stats. Boris Diaw gets about 15% more minutes than Andrei does, so he’s a little bit less efficient, but he’s not bad. Of course, AK detractors will point to the 58 games played, which is absolutely a valid concern.
However, once you start looking to the more advanced statistics, ones that indicate defensive ability and on-court vs. off-court team performance, the picture moves decidedly towards Kirilenko. Here are both players 82games.com stats:
|Production||On Court/Off Court||Simple|
The first number, Production, is in PER, Hollinger’s all-in-one production statistic. 15 is average, 20 is star worthy, and 30 is Lebron. Kirilenko’s offensive production was at 20.4 last year, which significantly exceeds Diaw’s 14.3 PER. This is where the per minute averages become important. Furthermore, Kirilenko’s defense is significantly better; he holds opponents to a below average 12.1 PER, while Diaw does not.
Worth noting is that Diaw spent most of his time on the court last year (76%) at PF, and the remaining time at center. Diaw is not a 3/4, he is a 4/5. He would provide backup to Millsap/Jefferson/Okur, rather than being a starting candidate at 3 like Andrei.
Basketball Prospectus is another group of basketball statistical analysts, and they have created a couple of interesting statistics that try to measure how many wins a player contributes to his team. The first is WARP, which stands for Wins Above Replacement Player. A replacement player is a statistical construction which seeks to define a baseline level of production. A player’s WARP represents his production above that baseline. Andrei Kirilenko had a 6.6 WARP last year, which means he contributed 6.6 wins more than a replacement level player (say, Jeffers) would have contributed. AK’s production increased our win total from 46 to 53 wins last year.
On the other hand, Boris Diaw had a 2.4 WARP last year. Therefore, if you replaced AK with Boris Diaw last year (even though Andrei only played 24 fewer games!), the Jazz would have only been a 49 win team last year, sending us out of the playoffs.
This wasn’t a statistical fluke, every single year, Kirilenko has had a significantly higher WARP than Diaw. Andrei’s contributions on the offensive and defensive side of the ball legitimately add wins to the Jazz’ total every year.
I estimate that if this trade occurred, the Jazz would be 4-8 wins worse next year, and in the incredibly tight Western Conference, that might knock us out of the playoffs. If that happened, the financial benefits of the trade would be largely negated through loss of playoff revenue. This trade would be a mistake.
Leave a Reply
You must be logged in to post a comment.