22 February 2011

Things that make me go, huh?

I don't get this Carmelo trade.

Denver will need to trade Felton, because they already have their "under-sized North Carolina point guard" in Ty Lawson. But they actually did better than the usual 50 cents on the dollar for a superstar demanding a trade routine. They probably could have used a big guy (Kenyon's getting older after all), but maybe they can spin Felton off for a big guy and a backup point guard who's bigger. Gallinari and Chandler are both pretty solid players.

But as far as New York, I think this trade actually makes them worse this season. Billups doesn't impress me as someone who can run the uptempo style, certainly not as well as Felton did, and certainly not at his age. Amare's better with someone who can run pick and rolls with him (he's basically Karl Malone 2.0). Nobody on this team can guard a chair. What will probably happen is New York is assuming they'll get one of the Chris Paul-Deron Williams sweepstakes next year and then that point, with Boston getting older, they start looking a little more like a title contender, or at least pushes Miami for the Eastern Conference. Right now they still look like a 45 win team.

Oh and Minnesota didn't come out too badly here. Randolph's interesting. Curry's cap space. Brewer's never sorted himself out anyway.

Here's the numbers on 82 games and e82
New York gets
Anthony +7.9 / 8.8
Billups +0.8 / 5.6
Williams -6.0 / 1.8
Carter -11.6 in limited minutes 0.1
Balkman -19.4 in limited minutes 0.1
Brewer +2.0 / 2.3

Denver gets
Chandler +5.3 / 5.6
Felton -1.0 / 8.0
Gallanari -1.2 / 4.5
Mozgov -13.5 in limited minutes. 0.8

Sum that up, 18.7 wins versus 18.9 wins. Not much help there. As I said, Denver got pretty equal value here.

I don't see what the fuss is about, and between Chandler being a good defender who could guard multiple positions and Felton being a better fit for the offense they were running than Billups, I see this is a major downgrade for this season. The Felton-Fields-Chandler-Gallanari-Stoudemire lineup that New York mostly used was by far their best. Simply sub-ing in Turiaf for Chandler drops them from a 50-55 win team to a 25 win team, to give some idea of Chandler's value (it's not that extreme, but he's definitely a good player). 3 of those players are now gone, and they're sub-ing in an older point guard who can't run for 39 minutes a game (Felton's per game average) and who doesn't know the system on one practice. To anyone who thinks this team is thus scary in a post-season series, I say that you are a crazy person. They did get a fair amount of playoff experience. But they have to get a decent seed to make use of it, simply making the playoffs only to play against Boston or Miami or even a healthy Chicago team (with Noah) is not a recipe to stay in it long enough to matter.

The other downside is that they got older. Basically New York traded players and got players back who were contributing at about the same level but who are 3 or 4 years older on average. This does not compute in any universe.

One further caveat, this trade did put at risk one of my fantasy basketball team's victories, by moving Felton out of the D'Antoni adjusted universe of statistics (the Coors Field of basketball stats) and reducing his minutes unless Denver moves him again for somebody else or picks. So I am understandably annoyed.
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