The first able below top is where the GM in me would begin when prepping his offseason strategy for his team.
One of the key ideas pounded into my head as an improvement engineer was the idea that before I decide to take action, I must understand what the situation is. I must know what I am working with. I must establish a baseline based on the data I have available. I must understand the goals and standards I am working against.
If I don’t know where I am and I have no idea where I am going, how in the world will I ever get there?
It’s therefore logical for me to apply this kind of analysis to NBA teams prior to making any sort of judgement on how they did in the offseason. I need to know what they were actually working with, I need to set some targets and I need to figure out what the process looks like over time. That’s because hope, faith and blind luck really is not a plan
Let’s start at the beginning, the goal of an NBA GM is to build a team that will be a contender over the course of time and have a chance to win a title. To be specific, we want a team that:
If our roster is close to that we want to make small moves to get it there. If our roster is not close we want to get more radical.
We also need to keep age in mind.
Young rosters improve, old rosters decay. Too old a roster means it’s time to blow a team up or do a major retooling.
Let’s look at those rosters shall we?
One of the interesting points I considered when doing this analysis is that teams change during the course of the season, some more than others. To capture that I looked at numbers for the whole season as well as pre and post trade deadline. I looked at the productivity and age of each roster (weighted by minutes played) and projected the performance of the rosters as they were for the next five years.
And that is how we come full circle.
Now we just need to review every team in detail.
Get more great NBA analysis over at Wages of Wins Journal.