Player Valuations: Moderate Level of FAIL

Posted by Rob Mahoney on February 19, 2009 under xOther | Be the First to Comment

The trade deadline is at 2:00 PM CST this afternoon, and there’s just no way I’m going to finish what’s left of the player valuations by then.  I know, I’m a terrible, terrible person.  Still, here’s an index of the valuations that did go down:

Shawne Williams
Devean George
James Singleton
Ryan Hollins
Antoine Wright
Matt Carroll
Gerald Green

As they say in the consolation/parenting world, “Maybe next year kiddos.”

Player Valuations: Gerald Green

Posted by Rob Mahoney on February 18, 2009 under Commentary, xOther | Be the First to Comment

Specs: Shooting guard/small forward.  6’8”, 200 lbs.

2008-2009 Stats: 5.5 PPG, 1.6 RPG, 44.4% FG, 31.4% 3FG, 11.3 PER

Why we want him: Gerald Green is what the Mavericks are not. Young.  Athletic.  Full of promise.  Unfortunately, it doesn’t stop there.  He’s undisciplined.  Turnover-prone.  Looks lost on defense when he’s not on the ball (okay, maybe he and the Mavs have something in common).  All that said, Green is exactly what you want out of your minimum salary players.  He gives fans something to cheer for and a reason to hope.  Green seems legitimately set on developing his game to trump his reputation as a dunker (boy, can he get up) and that type of mindset has a lot of people optimistic.  I don’t think he’ll suddenly actualize the superstar projections, but if the Mavs hold the course and provide Green with a steady environment, he could be a valuable weapon as a starting complement or second unit artillery.

Why they want him: He’s a low risk, high reward player.  I could see a lot of ‘older’ teams liking Green as a trade throw-in because of his contract and his athleticism.  Let him incubate for awhile, throw a few minutes his way every now and then, and hope for the best.  If he turns out to be a reliable contributor, awesome.  If not, oh well.

Trade value: Low-Moderate.  Since the Mavs lack expendable draft picks, the best way they can “sweeten the pot” of any potential trade is to throw in either Brandon Bass or Gerald Green.  Bass’ value is much higher than Green’s, but Gerald still presents an intriguing opportunity and an easy-to-swallow contract.

Likelihood of Being Traded Before the Deadline: In honor of Jim Jackson, former Maverick and the most stereotypical NBA journeyman to ever journey, man, each player’s likelihood of being traded will be evaluated using the Jim Jackson Index (JJI; a scale of 0-5):

1.5 Jim Jacksons out of 5.

Player Valuations: Matt Carroll

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Specs: Small forward.  6’6”, 212 lbs.

2008-2009 Stats: (as a Maverick) 2.0 PPG, 0.7 RPG, 35.3% FG, 0.0% 3FG (?!), 3.0 PER

Why we want him: He’s not DeSagana Diop.  Diop had been inexplicably withering away in Dallas, and he was making the Mavs’ brass look like morons for signing him to the full midlevel exception.  It wasn’t a good idea assuming Diop’s then-status quo level of production, and it certainly wasn’t a good idea after his regression.  So instead of paying Diop’s escalating salary over the next five years, the Mavs will foot the bill for Carroll and save themselves $11 million over that same span.  One can only hope that Carroll regains his confidence and in turn, his shooting stroke, but worst case he’s still cheaper than Diop.

Why they want him: See Antoine Wright.

Trade value: Very Low.  Like Hollins, Carroll can only be acquired by himself.  He can’t be packaged with other Mavs to make a trade work salary-wise until 2 months from his acquisition date (so basically, the off-season).  So…anybody looking to sign themselves up for a five year commitment to a rotation player who seems to have lost his one marketable skill through the hole in his pocket?

Likelihood of Being Traded Before the Deadline: In honor of Jim Jackson, former Maverick and the most stereotypical NBA journeyman to ever journey, man, each player’s likelihood of being traded will be evaluated using the Jim Jackson Index (JJI; a scale of 0-5):

0.5 Jim Jacksons out of 5.

Player Valuations: Antoine Wright

Posted by Rob Mahoney on under Commentary, xOther | Read the First Comment

Specs: Shooting guard.  6’7”, 215 lbs.

2008-2009 Stats: 6.4 PPG, 1.9 RPG, 41.1% FG, 28.8% 3FG, 8.6 PER

Why we want him: Because it could be worse.  Antoine Wright in (at least) the bottom third of the starting shooting guards in the league, but the Mavs don’t have many other options.  Jason Terry’s best work has come off the bench, and that role is the most effective for the team as a whole.  Beyond JET, what other choices do the Mavs have?  They could start Devean George, who in essence is an older Antoine Wright.  They could start Gerald Green, but as much as I love him, I could never say that he would be good as a full-time starter.  He’s just not ready.  They could start J.J. Barea, but he presents some challenges defensively and is best served as a backup.  Or they could start Matt Carroll, who hasn’t shown that he’s the defender that Wright is or that he can hit his shot consistently (to his credit, he has been coming on of late…kind of.)

Why they want him: Again…they probably don’t.  Herein lies the problem with the Mavs trade chances: they only have about of handful of actually desirable assets.  Contrast that with the Blazers, whose goblet overfloweth with young talent, or the Thunder, who boast such a collection of expiring contracts, cap space, and draft picks that Presti’s closet door won’t close.  Antoine Wright is exactly what the Mavs have in surplus: unspectacular, slightly below average contributors that are either past their prime or have limited upside.

Trade value: Very low.  Like Hollins and Singleton, Wright’s value to the Mavericks trumps his trade value.  Yes he’s a sub-par shooting guard, but for the time being he’s our sub-par shooting guard.

Likelihood of Being Traded Before the Deadline: In honor of Jim Jackson, former Maverick and the most stereotypical NBA journeyman to ever journey, man, each player’s likelihood of being traded will be evaluated using the Jim Jackson Index (JJI; a scale of 0-5):

1 Jim Jackson out of 5.

Player Valuations: Ryan Hollins

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Specs: Center.  7’0”, 215 lbs.

2008-2009 Stats: (as a Maverick)  2.7 PPG,  1.3 RPG, 58.8% FG,  6.4 PER

Why we want him: Depth at center.  Ditching Diop’s huge contract was a must, and getting back Matt Carroll and Hollins was just gravy.  Without Diop filling the need at back-up center, the Mavs are now left with the four-headed hideously ugly monster of Brandon Bass, James Singleton, Dirk, and Hollins.  That is one weird looking creature.  Rick Carlisle is mostly reluctant to give Hollins many real, in-game responsibilities, mostly because his offensive game is limited and he fouls like it’s going out of style.  He also happens to be just three pounds heavier than Matt Carroll, despite the fact that he plays center and he’s half a foot taller.  Hollins is still very much a project, but his athleticism and spring-loaded shot-blocking give the team a unique look.

Why they want him: There was a time where project centers were mythical beasts that could be tamed, and their powers harnessed. Their masters were considered the most powerful lords in all the land.  That day is gone.  There just isn’t much of a market these days for big guys without good ball skills, regardless heavenly hops and skyscraping reach.

Trade value: Very low.  Ryan Hollins hasn’t done enough to catch the eye of other teams.  Plus, because Hollins was just acquired via trade, he won’t be able to be included in a deal that includes other Mavericks.  The Mavs would be able to trade Hollins individually, but a deal involving Hollins in conjunction with any other Maverick would be illegal.  Hollins’ contract this season pays him $972,581, an amount which won’t be fetching superior value anytime soon.

Likelihood of Being Traded Before the Deadline: In honor of Jim Jackson, former Maverick and the most stereotypical NBA journeyman to ever journey, man, each player’s likelihood of being traded will be evaluated using the Jim Jackson Index (JJI; a scale of 0-5):

0.5 Jim Jacksons out of 5.

Player Valuations: James Singleton

Posted by Rob Mahoney on under Commentary, xOther | Read the First Comment

Specs: Small forward/power forward/center.  6’8”, 216 lbs.

2008-2009 Stats:  3.6 PPG, 2.9  RPG, 52% FG, 14.1 PER

Why we want him: Singleton’s a straight up hustla, yo.  From the second he steps on the floor, he provides instant energy and rebounding, gobbling up a delicious 15% of available rebounds.  Yum.  Singleton will never be confused with an offensive dynamo; his jumper is shaky and most of his points come off of dunks, layups or tip-ins.  Maybe it’s not a coincidence that he bears an uncanny resemblance to Erick Dampier on the court, because the two occupy the same functional space with the Mavs: hit the boards on both ends, go up strong when you get the ball, and play tough defense.  Singleton is one strong dude, and that combined with his “ball of energy” mentality makes him a world of hurt for opponents in short bursts.

Why they want him: They don’t.  Singleton spent his first two years in the league as a role player for the Clippers, before falling out of the NBA entirely last season.  Has he done enough this year to change some minds?  Maybe.  But it’s an easy role to fill and Singleton lacks the kind of go-to offensive move (be it in the post or on the wing) that would make him a real asset.

Trade value: Very low.  His value to the Mavs is much higher than his value to most other teams in the league.  The Mavs need aggressive, strong backups they can plug into either forward spot, and the lack of depth up front turns Singleton from an expendable benchwarmer to a multi-positional monster.  On top of that, Singleton’s contract is so reasonable that he probably wouldn’t even make a good salary throw-in.

Likelihood of Being Traded Before the Deadline: In honor of Jim Jackson, former Maverick and the most stereotypical NBA journeyman to ever journey, man, each player’s likelihood of being traded will be evaluated using the Jim Jackson Index (JJI; a scale of 0-5):

1 Jim Jackson out of 5.

Player Valuations: Devean George

Posted by Rob Mahoney on February 10, 2009 under Commentary, xOther | 4 Comments to Read

After quite a delay, the player valuations are back.  Let’s do this.

Specs: Small forward.  6’8”, 235 lbs.  Drafted with the 23rd pick in the 1999 draft out of Augsburg.

2008-2009 Stats: 3.9 PPG, 2.1 RPG, 41.3% FG, 7.5 PER

Why we want him: George is the resident “been there, done that” guy.  He had a hand in some pretty legit teams, and once upon a time was a well-respected perimeter defender.  Those days might be behind him, but that doesn’t mean that he can’t pester some of the best in the league on occasion (Carmelo comes to mind).  As far as insurance policies go, he’s not a bad option, and having solid veterans at the end of the bench can be good for the locker room and for prospect development.  His contributions aren’t overwhelming and they’re probably not even whelming, but his contract is reasonable and he doesn’t exactly come with high expectations.  Provided he keeps his turnovers down, hits the occasional three, and defends well, he’s an asset.

Why they want him: The exact same reasons.  One of the funny things about the ol’ wily veteran at the end of the bench is that their role rarely changes from team to team.  You put Devean George on any squad and he’s still Devean George.  He’s not waiting for his big break, his production isn’t suddenly going to skyrocket, and everything about his game is a known quanitity.  It makes him both consistent and boring.  But for other teams, it also makes him safe.

Trade value: Marginal.  Devean George is a safe player, but the aforementioned boringness means he’s not exactly the most intriguing trade chip.  His modest contract ($1.6 per year for 2008-2009 and 2009-2010) doesn’t make him appealing for salary dump reasons, and the man clearly values his Bird rights.  The phones aren’t ringing off the hook for George, and his ticket out of Dallas would seem to hinge on throw-in status.  I’m sure that’ll be a blast.

Likelihood of Being Traded Before the Deadline: In honor of Jim Jackson, former Maverick and the most stereotypical NBA journeyman to ever journey, man, each player’s likelihood of being traded will be evaluated using the Jim Jackson Index (JJI; a scale of 0-5):

1.5 Jim Jacksons out of 5.

Player Valuations: Shawne Williams

Posted by Rob Mahoney on January 28, 2009 under Commentary, xOther | 7 Comments to Read

Specs: Small forward.  6’9”, 225 lbs.  Drafted with the 17th pick in 2006 out of Memphis.

2008-2009 Stats: 2.8 PPG, 3.1 RPG, 28.6% FG, 7.6 PER.

Why we want him: Shawne is a project.  Rick Carlisle evidently saw enough in Williams during their shared time in Indiana that he thought Williams might have something to offer to the Mavericks, but so far he’s fallen pretty short.  Still, he’s got legit NBA size for the three, and his length and body make him a good rebounder for his position (his rebounding rate, though from a pretty small sample size, is good for second on the team).  The general line of thinking with project players is that if you find a player with the right unteachable skills (height, athleticism, etc.), you can instruct them to harness those assets into positive forms of production.  Williams has all of the requisites necessary to be an adequate scorer and rebounder at the three, and he’s still just 22 years old.  Every once in awhile he’ll put up stats that catch your eye (a 12 rebound effort against Phoenix comes to mind), and that kind of tease may be enough to keep Dallas’ curiosity piqued.  In truth, Williams is a long way from becoming a productive NBA player, and seems much more likely to fall the way of prolonged NBA inactivity than to clossom into a rotation player.  Sorry, dude.  It’s kinda what happens when you combine pedestrian defense, an errant jumper (he’s shooting 5.9% from three on the season), and a questionable work ethic.

Why they want him: Two reasons: reputation and contract.  Shawne Williams showed flashes in his rookie season and continues to tease to this day, and GMs might be inclined to look upon those games with rose-colored classes.  He’s still young and still seen as having potential, and for that reason a team might consider him an adequate throw-in or even a low-level asset in a trade.  Williams’ former off-court issues may have had time to fade into the shadows, and his time in Dallas has been without note.  Supposing other teams buy into the idea that Shawne won’t be an off-court distraction and view him as a prospect with upside, another team might be willing to bite on a trade.  Otherwise, Williams is an interesting player for contractual reasons.  His salary is around $1.5 million for this season with a team option (around $2.5 million) next year, meaning that he is a prime candidate for trade filler or cap-clearing (EDIT: Williams’ option has already been picked up.  Thanks, Jared.  But his value remains for matching reasons.).  Matching salaries in a trade isn’t as easy as it seems, but with pieces like Shawne Williams, a potential trade partner would get an extended look at an intriguing prospect for a minimal price, and then choose to pick up his option or jettison him this summer.

Trade value: Low.  It’s pretty doubtful that Donnie Nelson’s phone is ringing off the hook with requests for Williams (let’s face it, he’s no Zepp), and it’s very unlikely that he would be included in a trade as a centerpiece.  His ticket out of Dallas is as a contract throw-in, and based on the types of players the Mavs are targeting, that could be a possibility.

Likelihood of Being Traded Before the Deadline: In honor of Jim Jackson, former Maverick and the most stereotypical NBA journeyman to ever journey, man, each player’s likelihood of being traded will be evaluated using the Jim Jackson Index (JJI; a scale of 0-5):

2 Jim Jacksons out of 5.