Wednesday, August 11, 2010

The Trade Value of Darren Collison and Hypothetical Trade Scenarios

So I ended up having an interesting discussion with Mighty Mike about the insane four-team NBA trade earlier today. The main point of the discussion is this:
were there really any other suitors out there willing to part with a SG/SF AND needing Darren Collision? If so, what could the Hornets have gotten instead?

I decided to first poke around the Internet to see if anyone else had tried to assess Collison's trade value before today. I found that on June 12 (before the draft), Hornets247 .com identified the Pacers as a likely target and proposed two trades but both involved lottery picks and all sorts of extra players, making it unrealistic in my opinion.

Another website,, goes through a Grizzlies analysis. I'm not reprinting it, because it is completely flawed in my opinion in that it assumes that the Grizzlies would move Marc Gasol to open up a spot for Thabeet. Thabeet is nowhere near ready, while Marc Gasol is already one of the best big men in my opinion. Their 2nd trade scenario is even more preposterous... a straight up trade of Collison and Okafor for Granger. That makes no sense whatsoever from a position standpoint, let alone the lack of value the Pacers are getting for Granger, an All-Star.

The best analysis I found was on, where it used win-shares to keep things very analytical, and came to perhaps the best conclusion I'd seen:

Unless Danny Granger is involved, it doesn't make much sense for New Orleans to move Collison to Indiana. And it doesn't make much sense for Indiana to move Granger anywhere really, considering that Granger is essentially their (much better) version of Collison."

With the analysis of these other websites in mind, listed below are the six deals I came up with, to assess what other realistic options could have been available for Collison. It's subjective, but I went through all the teams while looking for wing-help for the Hornets, and looking for teams that would be willing to play a PG like Collison heavy minutes. Of course, Posey would be added to most of these deals for salary cap purposes.

1) Andre Igoudala (and 4 more years and $60 mill) for Collison - This assumes the Sixers give up on Louis Williams. Probably unlikely.
Verdict: Better Trade for the Hornets, but Unrealistic

2) Caron Butler for Collison -
This assumes Dallas would bench Kidd. Not sure who plays SF then. Plus, Dallas has Beaubois waiting. Very Unlikely.
Verdict: Better Trade for the Hornets, but Unrealistic

3) Rudy Fernandez and/or Batum for Collison -
I think getting Batum actually makes more sense and is less of a financial burden. He missed half of last season, but has been a great defender and above-average player, even by using the Win-Share per minute. Batum is not a household name though, whereas Ariza is, but I think this is the player I'd rather have if I were the Hornets, because he does not financially constrain you. It's possible the Blazers would throw in Rudy Fernandez either way also. I think this is the only trade out of the six that I envision that is more likely to be realistic AND seems to help the Hornets win.
Verdict: This is the trade the Hornets should have pursued! The Blazers would have been ecstatic too to have a core of Collison, Brandon Roy, Aldridge, and Greg Oden (if healthy).

4) Boris Diaw for Collison -
Diaw's an average player, but combining him with Paul would remind some of when Diaw was a great passer alongside Steve Nash.
Verdict: Ariza trade is probably better.

5) J. Thompson OR Donte Greene and F. Garcia for Collison -
This allows Tyreke Evans to play SG. Thompson/Greene are two young 6'11" skinny guys with a lot of potential. Not sure if this is even desirable for the Hornets since they are convincing Chris Paul they can win NOW.
Verdict: Ariza trade is clearly better

6) Tayshaun Prince for Collison.
Prince is older and missed a lot of games last year and already is 29.
Verdict: Ariza trade is clearly better.

Final conclusion:
Clearly, as Mighty Mike pointed out, the Hornets are at a disadvantage at the bargaining table because everyone knows they desperately are trying to keep Chris Paul happy. I have tried my best to gauge what else is out there, and sadly, without engineering insane-multi-player and multi-team trades, the best transaction I can come up with is acquiring Nicolas Batum. This probably won't sell any tickets.

However, it may win games! If you go to Basketball, you will see that Ariza posted only a 0.058 Win-share per 48 minutes last year, whereas Batum posted an above average 0.181 win-share per 48 minutes. Moreover, I even looked up adjusted plus/minus... and sadly Ariza, according to, only had a -.70 rating, whereas Batum had a 2.54 rating (to keep things in perspective, only 142 players had positive ratings, with the top 15 players having ratings between 7.0 and 18.0).


Mighty Mike said...

I don't think Portland would have gone with that trade given that they are defensive focused with a half court based offense (that Collison doesn't fit either desired goals) but that's just me....

Gutsy Goldberg said...

You may be right... I actually was originally thinking this would free up the SF spot for their new signing, Wesley Matthews. But then I realized Matthews is too small... which makes me wonder why they even signed him. They also drafted a SF in the 1st round of the draft.

Anyways, maybe it all just proves that the best the Hornets could get really was Ariza. Ouch.