NBA
NBA

NBA Analysis: Hornets-Sixers Make Interesting Trade

| by David Berri

While we wait for the Carmelo Anthony trade to be finalized, let’s talk about a trade yesterday that was quite interesting (even if it was of far less importance).  On Thursday the 76ers sent Willie Green and Jason Smith to the New Orleans Hornets for Darius Songaila and rookie Craig Brackins.  Why is this trade interesting?  I suspect this quartet are the least productive players ever to comprise a multi-player trade.

Consider the career productivity of the veterans involved:

Darius Songaila

  • 2003-04: 1.1 Wins Produced, 0.056 WP48
  • 2004-05: 1.9 Wins Produced, 0.053 WP48
  • 2005-06: -0.1 Wins Produced, -0.003 WP48
  • 2006-07: -0.1 Wins Produced, -0.005 WP48
  • 2007-08: -2.4 Wins Produced, -0.075 WP48
  • 2008-09: -0.8 Wins Produced, -0.024 WP48
  • 2009-10: -3.9 Wins Produced, -0.134 WP48
  • Career Totals: -4.3 Wins Produced, -0.022 WP48

Willie Green

  • 2003-04: -1.9 Wins Produced, -0.119 WP48
  • 2004-05: -1.1 Wins Produced, -0.049 WP48
  • 2005-06: -0.4 Wins Produced, -0.121 WP48
  • 2006-07: -4.3 Wins Produced, -0.112 WP48
  • 2007-08: -0.2 Wins Produced, -0.004 WP48
  • 2008-09: -0.3 Wins Produced, -0.008 WP48
  • 2009-10: 0.8 Wins Produced, 0.024 WP48
  • Career Totals: -7.9 Wins Produced, -0.039

Jason Smith

  • 2007-08: -1.5 Wins Produced, -0.067 WP48
  • 2009-10: -1.5 Wins Produced, -0.110 WP48
  • Career Totals: -3.1 Wins Produced, -0.083 WP48

These three players have combined to produced -14.7 wins in their careers.  Although Willie Green’s production of -7.9 wins is the lowest total for this trio – and Jason Smith has the lowest career WP48 [Wins Produced per 48 minutes] — Darius Songaila was actually the least productive player in the entire NBA last season.  I suspect (and I have not actually researched this question) that these are the least productive veterans ever to comprise the entire list of all the people involved in an NBA trade.

Apparently the Sixers did this trade because they wanted Craig Brackins (not sure where I read this).   Back in June, Shawn Ryan and I analyzed the players selected in the draft who played college basketball in 2009-10.  We reported that Brackins posted a 6.3 PAWS40 [Position Adjusted Win Score per 40 minutes] last season.  That mark ranked 50th (out of 53) in the 2010 draft class.

To put that in perspective, I looked at players drafted since 1995 who played three years in the league (the 2008-09 season was the last year considered).  Of the 21 rookies who had a PAWS40 of 6.3 or less (and who played at least 500 minutes across their first three seasons) only one – Trevor Ariza – had a career WP48 mark (after three seasons) that was above average.  And 12 of these players had a WP48 mark in the negative range.

In sum, it doesn’t seem likely that Brackins is going to be an above average NBA player.

So if you are fans of either team, your reaction to this trade should be… well, I am not sure. Maybe you should hope the players you acquire never really get on the floor.  Yes, that doesn’t sound like much of a hope after a trade.

- DJ