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NBA Analysis: Deron Williams Trade Impact

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The Nets-Knicks rivalry just might come to fruition after New Jersey pulled off the shocker of the trade deadline by acquiring All-Star point guard Deron Williams from Utah.  The Nets sent rookie Derrick Favors, Devin Harris, two first-round picks, and cash to the Jazz for Williams.  The Nets then sent Troy Murphy and a second-round pick to the Warriors for Dan Gadzuric and Brandan Wright.

The deal came as a big surprise, and reportedly came together very quickly in the wake of the Carmelo Anthony trade.  While that trade barely moved the needle with regard to AccuScore’s projections for this season, the Williams trade is much more impactful.  The Jazz are currently holding on to the 8th spot in the West just half a game ahead of Memphis.  In 10,000 simulations after the trade, Utah’s playoff chances dropped from 53.4 percent to just 32.3 percent.

UTAH JAZZ WINS LOSS % PLAYOFF
Before Trade 42.6 39.4 52.0% 53.4%
After Trade 40.5 41.5 49.4% 32.3%
FULL SEASON IMPACT -2.1 2.1 -2.6% -21.1%
UTAH JAZZ WINS LOSS % PLAYOFF
Current Record 31 26 54.4% --
Rest of Season (Before Trade) 11.6 13.4 46.4% 53.4%
Rest of Season (After Trade) 9.5 15.5 38.0% 32.3%
REST OF SEASON IMPACT -2.1 2.1 -8.4% -21.1%

NEW JERSEY NETS
The Nets are significantly better with Williams manning the point guard position, and now have a true marquee player to anchor their move to Brooklyn and attract other players.  Williams is still not eligible to sign an extension, and could potentially be a free agent after the 2011-12 season.

This season though, New Jersey has virtually no shot at the playoffs trailing the 8th seeded Pacers by 9.5 games.  They would likely need to win 20 of their remaining 25 games just to reach 37 wins and have a decent chance of overtaking Indiana.  While that’s not likely, the Nets do improve by about six percentage points per game with Williams at the point.

NEW JERSEY NETS WINS LOSS % PLAYOFF
Before Trade 26.6 55.4 32.4% 0.0%
After Trade 28.1 53.9 34.3% 0.2%
FULL SEASON IMPACT 1.5 -1.5 1.8% 0.2%
NEW JERSEY NETS WINS LOSS % PLAYOFF
Current Record 17 40 29.8% --
Rest of Season (Before Trade) 9.6 15.4 38.4% 0.0%
Rest of Season (After Trade) 11.1 13.9 44.4% 0.2%
REST OF SEASON IMPACT 1.5 -1.5 6.0% 0.2%

PLAYOFF PAIRINGS AFTER TRADES
The Eastern Conference had no change in playoff standings but the Knicks’ chances did increase +7.6 percent.

PLAYOFF CHANCES 2/21 2/23 +/-
Miami Heat 100.0% 100.0% 0.0%
Boston Celtics 100.0% 100.0% 0.0%
Chicago Bulls 100.0% 100.0% 0.0%
Orlando Magic 100.0% 100.0% 0.0%
Atlanta Hawks 99.9% 99.9% 0.0%
New York Knicks 87.9% 95.5% 7.6%
Philadelphia 76ers 88.2% 85.8% -2.4%
Indiana Pacers 59.9% 61.7% 1.8%
Charlotte Bobcats 27.8% 26.6% -1.2%
Milwaukee Bucks 32.0% 27.9% -4.1%
Detroit Pistons 4.3% 2.4% -1.9%
New Jersey Nets 0.1% 0.2% 0.1%
Toronto Raptors 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
Washington Wizards 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
Cleveland Cavaliers 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%

In the West the Nuggets dipped after the Carmelo trade, but Utah’s decline resulted in an improvement overall by the Nuggets.  More importantly, the Memphis Grizzlies now have the eighth highest chance at the playoffs in the West.

PLAYOFF CHANCES 2/21 2/23 +/-
San Antonio Spurs 100.0% 100.0% 0.0%
Dallas Mavericks 100.0% 100.0% 0.0%
LA Lakers 100.0% 100.0% 0.0%
Oklahoma City Thunder 99.4% 99.8% 0.4%
New Orleans Hornets 92.4% 94.8% 2.4%
Portland Trail Blazers 86.7% 89.7% 3.0%
Denver Nuggets 82.8% 86.3% 3.5%
Utah Jazz 50.8% 32.3% -18.5%
Memphis Grizzlies 51.4% 53.6% 2.2%
Phoenix Suns 20.5% 24.2% 3.7%
Golden State Warriors 13.2% 12.0% -1.2%
Houston Rockets 5.5% 9.6% 4.1%
LA Clippers 0.4% 0.4% 0.0%
Minnesota Timberwolves 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
Sacramento Kings 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%